In a happy ending, an anxious female leopard was reunited with her three lost cubs after nearly 48 hours, with some discreet help from the Forest Department, Karad, officials said here on Wednesday.
On Monday afternoon, some labourers stumbled upon three scared leopard cubs in a farm owned by one Jaywant Yadav in Vanvasmachi village in Maharashtra, said forest Officer Rohan Bhate.
"They immediately informed the local Forest Department and a team comprising Mahadeo Mohite, Mahesh Jhanjurne, Tushar Navale, got cracking. They formed a rescue team of Sagar Kumbhar, Shreenath Chavan, Deepali Avghade, Arvind Jadhav and others," Bhate said.
They first checked and took the cubs, piled up some sugarcanes and placed the creatures safely in a crate on top, set up camera traps and then the entire area was vacated.
Early on Tuesday morning, the worried mother leopard came searching for her "missing" cubs and was relieved to find them unharmed. She picked up one cub and disappeared into the forests to her lair.
She hurriedly returned after a couple of hours, at around dawn on Tuesday and took away a second cub, and then came back for the lone third cub early on Wednesday.
After the four-member leopard family departed into its natural wild habitat, the forest department officials checked the camera traps and exchanged rounds of congratulations for the successful "reunion" operation.
Bhate said that in the past the Forest Department teams have carried out similar operations for lost or missing cubs of leopards or the young ones of other wild animals that roam in the region.
(WIth inputs from IANS)