Leopard forges friendship with mare

Team Udayavani, May 8, 2019, 6:00 PM IST

Vadodara, May 8 (PTI) Hard as it may be to imagine, a young leopard has forged an unlikely bond with a mare at a farmhouse in Gujarat.

The around one-and-a-half-year-old leopard has been visiting the farmhouse, located near a forest at Virod village on Vadodara’s outskirts, for last four-five days apparently after taking a liking for the mare kept tied there to a tree.

The farmhouse and the mare belong to villager Jagdishbhai Patel, who said the leopard has been coming to his field every day during the night time.

“The leopard rolls on the grass and plays near the mare, who has not resisted the big cat’s move and keeps standing near the tree without any sign of panic,” he told agency over the phone on Wednesday.

He said while his family members were worried about the unusual visitor at their field, the other villagers were flocking the place to catch a glimpse of the camaraderie between the two animals.

“The leopard has been coming to the farmhouse, located just about 25 metres from my house, after sunset and sits near the mare for some hours before disappearing. The carnivore has not attacked any human being though it bit a dog a couple of days back,” Patel said.

He said his farm labourers were scared of going near the mare to feed it and as a precaution, he has shifted his other cattle behind the house.

He also requested the forest department to catch the spotted animal.

Arvind Pawar of the city-based NGO Wildlife Rescue Trust said they have installed two night vision cameras to capture the leopard’s images.

The district forest department’s rescue team member Nitin Patel said the young leopard’s mother was also seen near the farmhouse in a video footage.

“While the young feline sits in a water pit dug up near the spot where the mare is tied, its mother was seen climbing a nearby tree,” he said.

A cage along with bait was placed nearby, but the leopard was yet to be caught, he added.

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