An adult fishing cat, which are in high threat of extinction in the wild, was rescued from a well in a village in Ganjam district, forest officials said Saturday.
The cat fell into the 15-feet-deep open well at Anangpur village in Digapahandi forest range Friday, they said.
“Locals assumed that it was a leopard cub but after verification, it was found to be a fishing cat,” said Forest Range Officer Kanhu Charan Patnaik.
The nocturnal animal was safely rescued and taken to the veterinary hospital for futher checkup and treatment, he said.
“It will be released after recovery,” he added.
Shrinking wetlands has forced the fishing cats to stray into human settlements and prey on fish in ponds and livestock, said Biswajit Mohanty, a wildlife activist.
The fishing cat apart from fish also preys on frogs, crustaceans, snakes, birds, and scavenges on carcasses of larger animals. It is capable of breeding all year round but in India its peak breeding season is known to be between March and May.