By Tom Dare
THIS IS THE INCREDIBLE MOMENT when locals from a small village in India watched on as rescuers freed a leopard that had become trapped in a well – eleven hours after falling in while chasing its prey.
Footage shows the Leopard, which reportedly fell into the well while chasing a mongoose through the village late at night, struggling to stay afloat in the water, before eventually finding a ledge within the wall of the well where it could rest.
Rescuers then managed to loop a rope around the big cat before hoisting it to safety, capturing the beast in a cage before releasing it back into the wild.
Villagers in Somnath district, in the west Indian state of Gujarat ,were only alerted to the presence of the big cat on the morning of Saturday, April 28th after they heard it grunting from the bottom of the 40-foot deep well. It is believed that the leopard fell into the well while chasing a mongoose the night before, which was also freed as part of the rescue attempt.
Forest department officials arrived at around 8am on Saturday morning to free the animal. It took them nearly three hours just to free the mongoose before moving onto the leopard.
After an hour of struggling the animal eventually tired, allowing rescuers to loop a rope around its body and pull it to safety, much to its apparent annoyance.
The leopard was re-released into the wild later that weekend.
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