Tanay Panpalia, a chartered accountant and wildlife enthusiast from Nagpur, was exploring the jungles of Umred with his friends. They were near a lake in the forest, clicking pictures of the beautiful birds that live there and were also on the lookout for any mammals nearby.
Just then, they saw a pack of wolves and decided to go closer to take a better look at them. Although tigers, leopards and sloth bears excite most people that enter the forest, spotting wolves or wild dogs in Umred is a rare sight. So the friends decided to pursue them, from a safe distance, when Tanay spotted something unusual—something that should have never happened.
One wolf from the pack had his head stuck in a plastic container. He also looked malnourished, perhaps because he was living with his head in the container for a few weeks now! There was no way of knowing how long the poor animal had been stuck in the container, but Tanay knew that if he did nothing to help, there was a chance that the creature would die of starvation.
“We immediately informed a rescue team from the Forest Department of Nagpur and followed the wolf until they arrived,” Tanay told the Daily Mail.
Tanay, who is a member of the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), believes that the container probably belonged to someone from the nearby villages who used it to store food grains. Perhaps after the container was seen as unfit to use, they disposed of it without caution. The wolf might have been searching for food, or perhaps just making sense of the container by sniffing it when the incident happened.
“… The young wolf seemed to be very weak and was unable to eat due to that plastic container. Thankfully, the plastic container had holes, so the poor animal could breathe and drink water and was probably alive due to that reason,” Tanay added.
The rescue team took about two hours to reach the stop where the wolf was.
Meanwhile, Tanay and his friends ensured they had their eye on the poor animal. With the help of a rescue kit, the team caught the wolf and cut the container carefully.
“It was a success, and there were no external injuries to the wolf,” Tanay told the Daily Mail, adding that “We kept on showering water on him to bring down his body temperature and then released him back into the wild. He ran away swiftly and re-joined the pack later on. The whole rescue operation lasted for around three hours, but was worth it.”
Back in the wild and reunited with his pack, let’s hope the wolf slowly becomes healthy.
For humans, this incident is a lesson on being careful about what we let out in nature and taking charge in important situations.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)