Mumbai, Jun 18 (IANS): A striped hyena was rescued from a 30-foot deep open well in a village near Pune after a two-hour long operation on Saturday.
Striped hyena is the only hyena species found in the Indian subcontinent. It is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Classified as 'Near Threatened' in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the hyena's global population is estimated to be under 10,000.
A resident of Buchkewadi village in Junnar division near Pune had stepped out early in the morning to turn on the pump to draw water from his well. But he was shocked at the sight of a striped hyena that had fallen into the nearly 30-foot deep uncovered well.
The well is located in the periphery of a forested area that is home to several wild animals, including hyenas. These animals often venture into the human habitation in search of easily available prey and shelter, the Wildlife SOS said.
The state forest department was alerted, which roped in the Wildlife SOS, a non-profit working for the rescue of animals. The four-member Wildlife SOS team, which operates out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, arrived soon with rescue gear and a trap cage.
The team lowered a trap cage into the well and after a few attempts, the hyena successfully entered it. Once safely inside, the cage was carefully lifted and the hyena was later released into a neighbouring forest.
"The hyena, most likely a female, was exhausted from its struggle to escape from the well and had sustained minor abrasions. As there were no major injuries and the animal was fit, we released her back into the wild soon," said Nikhil Bangar, veterinary officer at the Wildlife SOS.
Ajit Shinde, range forest officer, Junnar, said: "Open wells are a common threat to wildlife around villages, and our teams are always vigilant to provide any assistance when it comes to rescuing animals in distress."