Watch: Braveheart RFO Thipe tackles and rescues injured leopard with aplomb

Nagpur/Chandrapur: Not a lot of people would manage to keep calm at the sight of a predatory leopard, let alone dare to go near one. But in an exemplary act of bravery, Range Forest Officer (Chandrapur) Santosh Thipe not only tackled a leopard, who was injured after being hit by a speeding vehicle, singlehandedly but rescued the big cat with aplomb. In the act, the leopard, though injured, attacked RFO Thipe and hurt him. However, both, the RFO and the leopard, are now fine.

The bravery of RFO Santosh Thipe and his leopard rescue mission was captured in a camera.

It may be recalled, a video showing a severly injured leopard limping back into to the jungle from Chandrapur-Mul road, has been doing the rounds on social media. The leopard was probably hit by a speeding vehicle while crossing the road. The sight of wild animal struggling to escape into the woods left many passersby stranded on the road.

As per the forest department, the incident occurred on Monday afternoon near Lohara village and it was the locals who alerted the forest department about the leopard’s accident. “Our staff rushed to the site and we managed to rescue the leopard, which was injured but still very alert and aggressive. It was tranquillised and brought to a temporary rescue centre and was under treatment of a local Veterinarian and will be shifted on Wednesday to Gorewada Zoo for further treatment,” said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Chandrapur (Territorial) Ashok Sonkusare.

Dr Kundan Podchalwar the Vet who treated the leopard said that the leopard has been left with a fractured femur in the right hind limb. “It is very aggressive and even trying to attack and by its movement it seems that it only has injuries to its femur in the right hind limb. We have given it initial treatment and its further treatment will be carried out at Gorewada zoo,” he said.

The video footage was recorded by some eyewitness who witnessed the leopard being knocked down and while it captured the leopard’s trauma it did not have footage of the vehicle knocking it down. The leopard can be seen limping from the road and rushing towards the forested patch till it goes and sits under a tree. “It’s evident from the video that the leopard was in severe pain and could barely walk as it can be seen trying to run away but since it could barely walked it limped and then decided to give up and sit, despite some people gathering nearby it still did not move,” said a Mumbai based Vet who saw the video.