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In a strange occurrence, a leopard in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan wandered into a human habitat in quest of water and got its head caught in an aluminum pot. The terrified animal was liberated after 10 hours of struggle by a team of Forestry Department officials.
The leopard was subsequently released into the dense forest of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
Residents of the village of Sardul Kheda awoke early Wednesday morning to the odd shrieks of the animal. The frightened leopard raced around the village with its head trapped in a pot, while the villagers chased it with their mobile phones in hand.
Some villagers attempted to secure the animal by binding its legs together, but their efforts only made it more aggressive. The villagers then notified forest officials, who tranquilized the animal and were able to coax its head from the pit.
“It took four hours to sedate the lion and remove the rat. If the leopard’s head had remained trapped longer, it might have suffocated. Our team rendered the leopard unconscious and relocated it to an enclosure. We attempted to remove the aluminum pot from multiple angles and were successful without using a gas cutter, according to Kapil Chandrawal, the District Fire Officer for Rajsamand. We were informed around 10 a.m., and by the afternoon, the leopard had been released into the forest, he added.
The leopard was approximately three years old and had wandered into the village in quest of water, according to forest officials. Villagers reported frequent sightings of a leopard and two offspring in their fields one week prior.
According to forest officials, a number of animals had left the Kumbhalgarh sanctuary and sought refuge in adjacent marble dumps, where water was scarce. “Water is abundant in Rajsamand and the adjacent Kumbhalgarh sanctuary. Massive marble blocks have lain at these locations for many years. These animals are protected by narrow ridges or tiny caverns between large blocks of marble, said Chandrawal.
Rajsamand is the state’s main marble-producing district. The district and Kumbhalgarh sanctuary have abundant lake, pond, and seasonal river water resources. The Kumbhalgarh sanctuary is only 20 kilometers distant from the village of Sardul Kheda, where the incident occurred.