The Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre currently houses a total of 34 leopards that are unable to be released back into the wild. The rescue center also offers educational programs to several villages to educate the local farming communities and to hopeful increase understanding of leopards.
Recently in Maharashtra, India, a mother leopard had to make an unbearable decision: she was forced to abandon her baby in a sugarcane field, which is sadly a common occurrence. Between the greed of industries and the demand for increased housing and farmland, humans continue to expand on the natural habitats that once belonged to these big cats. Leopards are struggling to survive and are often spotted looking for safe cover within the vast fields of sugarcane.
Thankfully, the orphaned cub was found by local farmers and they reported the baby to the Forest Department. Forest officials requested the farmers to stop their sugarcane harvesting, in hopes of giving the leopard a chance to find her baby. After weeks of trying, the mother didn’t return for her missing baby. The cub is now in the permanent care of Wildlife SOS, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving wildlife.
Wildlife SOS decided to name the three-month-old male leopard baby, “Neel” which means champion and is also a reference to the Hindu God Shiva. Neel is now at Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center and if you’re wondering how he is doing, just watch the above video!
Neel will be raised next to Sundari, a female leopard cub who is also orphaned, and we are sure the two will find comfort in each other. Both Neel and Sundari are now being hand-reared by the Wildlife SOS staff, who are dedicated to ensuring both grow up strong and healthy.