Spot of bother: rescuers haul leopards from bottom of deep Indian well

Two leopards were rescued on Friday from the bottom of a 50-foot well in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

The adult males were believed to have fallen into the water source near Bhatkalwadi village in Ottur as they fought for control of the surrounding territory.

The charity Wildlife SOS worked alongside the Forest Department for three hours to coax the cats into a crate and then haul them to safety with ropes.

Both felines were under observation at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre.

“The leopards are approximately 7 to 8 years old," said Dr. Ajay Deshmukh, Senior Veterinary Officer at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre.

"They bear wounds from their earlier scuffle, but we have not detected any internal injuries. They are both exhausted and in severe shock because of the ordeal and will be kept under observation for a few days till they are deemed fit for release,” he added.

Wildlife SOS blamed "the startling rate of habitat encroachment" for forcing the normally "elusive" cats to approach human settlements.