A wild Indian wolf who was on the verge of starvation after getting its head stuck in a plastic jar is back with his pack after rangers from a nearby tiger reserve carefully removed the carelessly discarded jug.
Photographer and wildlife enthusiast Tanay Panpalia was visiting the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) with friends when they came across a pack of about 10 Indian wolves, one of which had its head stuck in a dirty plastic jug.
“The young wolf seemed to be very weak and was unable to eat due to that plastic container,“ stated Tanay. “Thankfully, the plastic container had holes, so the poor animal could breathe and drink water and was probably alive due to that reason.”
Being a member of TATR, Tanay knew just who to call – the Nagpur Forest Department – though it took about two hours for a rescue team to reach their position. In the meantime, he and his companions tracked the distressed wolf while the other members of its pack watched warily from a distance.
“We were scared as there were only three of us and ten of them,” related 26-year-old Tanay, “however, the young wolf seemed to be very weak as it was unable to eat due to that plastic container. So, despite being scared, we had the determination to save him and we immediately began the rescue operation.”
The rangers were able to safely secure the wolf and gently remove the container from its head without causing any further injury.; they then released it back into the wild. “He ran away swiftly and rejoined the pack later on,” reported Tanay. “The whole rescue operation lasted for around three hours, but it was worth it.”
The Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) was officially designated an endangered species under the 1972 Wild Life Protection Act but occasional attacks on humans – most often children – by wolf packs and lone wolves continue to be recorded. It's probably too much to expect this act of kindness will change the perception of wolves by humans (and vice-versa) but one can always hope.