Vadodara: A two-month-old Asiatic lion cub, who had fallen into a well at a village outside the Gir wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat’s Junagadh district, was rescued and also reunited with its mother, forest officials said.
The incident took place on Saturday when the cub was sitting near the well without a parapet at Dera village in Junagadh’s Veraval taluka and suddenly fell into it, said Aradhana Sahu, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Junagadh.
The well’s owner informed forest officials, who then rushed to the spot.
“The cub was rescued with the help of a wooden cot which was lowered into the well,” she said, adding the cub climbed onto the cot and was pulled up the same day.
Though the cub did not sustain any injury, the forest officials were concerned about its survival as such a young feline could not survive without its mother.
“After locating a lioness in the area, the rescue team kept the cub in an open cage, which was placed at a suitable site in the area. Our team led by range forest officer PP Kaneriya waited till late last night,” Sahu said.
A lioness came, sniffed the cub and then took it along into the adjoining coastal forest area last night, she said.
Initially, the forest officials were sceptic about finding the abandoned cub’s mother as female carnivores do not readily accept cubs that are not delivered by them. They often kill such cubs, she said.
“It has also been observed that carnivores do not accept their cubs if they come in contact with human beings. Fortunately, in this case, the lioness accepted its young one even as we were standing about 10 ft away from the cage,” said Kaneriya.