By Taniya Dutta
This is the moment a bunch of inquisitive monkeys helped save the life of a distressed leopard drowning in a 25ft deep well in western India.
The monkeys were spotted chattering and jumping incessantly on the edge of a well behind the Baleshwar Temple in Sikar in Rajasthan early last Monday.
When the devotees, who had gathered for prayers, saw the distraught monkeys they followed them and spotted the blinking eyes of a leopard almost camouflaged in dark waters.
An alarm was raised and forest officials were informed who arrived with a ladder for its rescue.
The ladder was lowered into the well and after several attempts the leopard was finally able to grip it and climb onto it to come out of the well.
Ranger Devendra Singh Rathore said: “We were informed about the incident at around 6:00am on the morning of 11 June. We immediately sent a team of rescue officials at the spot.
“As soon as it came out of the well it ran towards the jungle. It didn’t attack any villager or domestic animal in the village.”
Visuals captured on mobile phones by locals show the monkeys sitting on the edge of the well and looking at the leopard, which was completely camouflaged in the dark waters.
When the locals left the well to make the leopard feel comfortable, it jumped out of the well and swiftly darted off to the nearby jungle.
“The rescue operation lasted for nearly an hour.
“It is possible the leopard had fallen into the well at night while following prey. We were able to rescue the wild cat using a ladder.
In the footage, a dog can also be seen running for its life after its sudden encounter with the wild cat.
Hordes of villagers and devotees watched the dramatic moment unfolding from the terrace of a house and cheered as soon as it came out of the well.
In a similar incident just ten days ago, another leopard, a three-year-old adult was rescued from Madhya Pradesh in central India when it was spotted struggling to stay afloat in a 20ft deep well.
After locals raised the alarm, they were joined by forest rescue services and succeeded in coaxing the leopard out of the dwelling by lowering a makeshift wooden ladder into the water.