An unlucky leopard got more than he bargained for when he ventured into a small village in Rajasthan, India, looking for a drink. The leopard found a metal pot that contained water, but when he went in for a sip, the pot became lodged on his head. Six terrifying hours later, the unfortunate leopard was finally rescued by the local forest department.
Residents of Sadulkhera village told NDTV India that the animal probably came from Kumbhalgarh sanctuary, which is located nearby. It entered the village unseen, probably looking for water.
When the thirsty leopard discovered water in a cylindrical container with a tapered neck, it attempted to take a drink. Once its head was inside the tapered neck of the metal pot, the unlucky leopard was unable to pull back out.
— NDTV (@ndtv) September 30, 2015
A crowd quickly gathered around the trapped animal and began to take pictures and video. In one short clip, the leopard can be seen attempting to pull the metal pot off of his head with one paw. Unfortunately for the animal, the smooth pot has no ledge or other surface to push against.
According to the Guardian, the leopard remained trapped for six hours before help finally came. Although footage shows some villagers attempting to approach the trapped animal, most of the onlookers stood back at a safe distance.
Although the leopard’s head was trapped in a pot, the animal could have easily injured a bystander as it frantically tried to remove the pot from its head. An adult male leopard can weigh up to 200 lbs, and they have sharp, retractable claws.
Forest officials were alerted to the situation, and they were eventually able to rescue the unfortunate leopard. NDTV India reports that the leopard was first tranquilized, to allow the officials to approach safely, and then captured for observation.
In video obtained by Reuters, the officials can be seen tending to the unfortunate leopard after it was caught.
According to Reuters, Rajasthan is a “parched desert state,” which explains why the leopard was so desperate to find a drink of water.
Kapil Sharma, the District Forest Officer of the Udaipur range, spoke to NDTV India about the unfortunate leopard that his people were able to save.
“The male leopard is about three years old,” Mr. Sharma told NDTV India. “He is being kept under observation. He has been checked by vets and seems to be fine.”
According to Sharma, the forest department plans to observe the leopard before releasing him back into the forest. He also reinforced the opinion of the villagers that the animal probably came from the nearby Kumbhalgarh sanctuary.
If the leopard had wandered away before the villagers noticed him, and the local forest department wasn’t notified, the animal could have been in real trouble. Animals that become trapped like that are often unable to save themselves, as evidenced by the fact that the leopard spent six hours trying to remove the pot from his own head before the officials finally arrived.
As previously reported by Inquisitr, a similar thing often happens to small animals that attempt to eat out of discarded food containers. In particular, skunks and squirrels can get their heads stuck in tapered Yoplait yogurt cups, which is often a death sentence.
This unlucky leopard was actually quite fortunate that he attracted the attention of the local villagers. Despite a terrifying experience, the thirsty leopard made it out okay in the end. If it ventures outside the wildlife sanctuary again, it may not be so lucky the next time.
[Image via YouTube]