• The cubs were barely 45 days old
  • Their mother was visibly relieved to find them safe and sound
  • Female leopard unable to locate their cubs can pose danger to humans

Two tiny leopard cubs, which apparently wandered into a sugarcane field in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, were retrieved by wildlife officials Thursday. The cubs were medically examined and were released back into the wild.

Local non-profit Wildlife SOS has shared details regarding the heartwarming rescue in an Instagram post, explaining how the 45-day-old cubs were reunited with their mother. The post has since won the hearts of several internet users.

Farmers harvesting sugarcane in the fields in Ozar village of Junnar district spotted the cubs and informed authorities, the post said. A team from the WSOS Leopard Rescue Centre responded to the scene and checked the male cubs for ticks and injuries.

The leopard cubs were later declared fit to be released back into the wild.

Wildlife SOS also shared a video that shows the cubs being carried in a plastic box with ventilation holes. Officials are seeing leaving the box in the field for the mother leopard to spot it. The video also shows the mother arriving at the spot shortly after and pushing the box to the ground to release the cubs. The mother then gently holds the cubs by their neck, visibly relieved to have found them hale and hearty.

“This involved the installation of remote-controlled camera traps in the field to document the reunion process, while we monitored the area from a safe distance,” the post said.

"The mother must have been looking for her cubs because she arrived on the spot within twenty minutes. We can only imagine her relief on finding them safe and sound," it further added.

Female leopards tend to grow aggressive and can pose danger to humans in close proximity in case they are unable to locate their cubs, Nikhil Bangar, Wildlife Veterinary Officer at Wildlife SOS, told local outlet NDTV.

"To survive in the wild and learn the skills of survival, it is crucial for leopard cubs to be reared by their mothers for the first two years of their lives. To date, Wildlife SOS has assisted the Forest Department in successfully reuniting over 80 cubs that were lost, injured, or separated from their mothers," CEO of Wildlife SOS, Kartick Satyanarayan, told the outlet.

Leopard | Representational Image pixabay