VELLORE: A leopard cub was stuck inside a 10-foot deep water tank in a mango grove adjoining Pernambut Reserve Forest near Aravatla tribal village on Monday morning. Later, it was rescued by the forest department officials.
The one-and-half-year-old cub slipped into the tank while prowling in search of prey along with its mother at night. The tank, owned by V Govindarajan, is located just three kilometers from Pernambut.

While passing by the tank, a local heard a growling sound coming out of it. Terrified at the sight of the cub, he immediately informed the forest department officers.

District Forest Officer - K Bhargava Teja, Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) - Muralidharan, Pernambut Forest Ranger - L Shankaraiya and forest department personnel reached the spot at around 9.00 am for the rescue operation.

"We brought a team of veterinarians and officers from Pernambut Fire and rescue services department to rescue the cub," Shankaraiya told Express.

After doctors found the cub healthy, we decided to let the cub into the forest. A 10-foot tall ladder was brought and placed inside the tank. As we distanced ourselves from the tank, the cub climbed the ladder and ran into the woods in a blink of an eye, the ranger said.

"The cub could have scaled the 10 feet tall tank, but the slippery floor made it impossible. It was filled with silt, and had half-a-foot water," he said.

The locals were gripped by fear as the incident clearly indicated that leopards are on the prowl in nearby regions. The public have been warned not to take their cattle for grazing into the forest and collect twigs as the leopard could be on the prowl in the surrounding areas, sources said.

Shankaraiya said that there are four leopards and a cub prowl in the reserve forest area.