When Indian villagers heard distressing animal cries from a nearby well, they never expected to stumble across a leopard on the verge of drowning.
The people of the Pimpalgaon Siddhanath village, in west-central India, went to investigate the cries and soon discovered there was a leopard, desperately clinging on to a rope at the bottom of the village’s 60-foot well.
The farmer, who first spotted the big cat, immediately contacted officials at the country’s forest department. The nearby Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre was then contacted and from there nine officials, along with the villagers, set about to rescue the stranded predator.
After constructing a wooden platform for the leopard to balance on, the team then waited for the cat to use her last burst of energy to pull herself out of the water.
Shortly after stabilising herself on the makeshift raft, the rescuers proceeded to lower a cage down into the well. Unsurprisingly, the leopard wasted no time jumping into it to safety.
Once back on sturdy ground, the group determined that the four-year-old female was in good health and that she presumably fell into the well while chasing prey.
Unfortunately, incidences like this are a regular occurrence in rural India and more often than not these big cats are discovered when it is too late to help them.
Their habitat is vanishing at an alarming rate thanks to deforestation, which means leopards and other big cats are venturing into more populated areas in search of food.
Sadly, this is when the animals become entrapped in manmade death traps, such as village wells.
Nevertheless, luckily for this particular predator she has since been released into the wild, where she can live out the rest of her eight remaining lives.
We can only hope that villagers like these ones continue to keep a vigilant eye out for big cats around the area and to act quickly if they notice one has become in danger.
Thankfully, these rescuers’ brave efforts were caught on camera and you can see the incredible moment this lucky leopard escapes a near death experience for yourself.