By Jaimi Dolmage
It sounds like the beginning of a scary movie. When villagers in the Indian region of Gujarat heard growling and thrashing coming from a well, one would think that they’d run the other way. Instead, they peered inside and discovered a wild leopard had fallen in overnight, becoming trapped. With nothing more advanced than ropes and manpower to attempt the rescue, these caring people bravely put their own lives on the line to save another.
Working alongside forest officials to help the leopard, they worked to hoist the beautiful animal back to freedom. Wild leopards in India are endangered and protected, but are routinely killed when they wander into areas populated by humans. With the sprawl of humanity continuing to encroach on their territory, leopards are finding themselves losing more of their natural habitat everyday. This, along with poaching them for their fur, continues to be an issue for their long-term survival.
These villagers, however, chose to help as opposed to killing the cat or leaving it to die. The frightened animal wasn’t too keen on the rescue efforts being made, but his heroes were able to pull it off without hurting him. Once out of the well, the leopard was taken to an area a safe distance away from the village and released into the wild again, proving that there’s always a humane choice. We, and the leopard, are pretty happy about that. Video.