Is Lakshmi, the leopard cub, ready for the wild?

Lakshmi - the leopard cub
Lakshmi - the leopard cub

Remember I wrote about Lakshmi, the injured leopard cub, in the forests of Ranthambhore in the Indian state of Rajasthan who has been under the care of the forest department and hotelier Gerhard Wiehahn? Click here to read the previous post on Lakshmi.

I got this update from Gerhard a few days ago, and it certainly made for some cheerful reading. This is what he said:

“Laxmi (I have been writing her spelling as Lakshmi, both acceptable in India) has turned 11 months old, and weighs in at a very healthy 25kgs! She has grown into an incredibly beautiful and successful¬† young leopard. By now, she has mastered almost all that she needs to know to be wild. She kills everything she can catch, which till now was quite irregular. I still supply food in the form of chickens, rabbits, ducks, goats and sheep, which of course she kills on her own and feeds in thick cover. She has managed to hunt down a peacock not too long ago as well as a monitor lizard.

Monkeys are next on her menu, and every day she gets one step closer to catch one. Laxmi defends her kills now ferociously, even against me!!

I am now moving Laxmi away from her current location, to put her into complete isolation for the next 4-5 months. She will have NO MORE contact with any human beings except myself and her ‘babysitter.’¬† During this isolation phase, she’ll spend most of her days free, under my supervision of course. My interaction with her will be scaled down as well, which will help her growing in confidence and into in dependency.

Her release date is pending on these final months ahead, and how she responds to her new environment. Laxmi is one step away from her long awaited and well deserved freedom.

Rest assured, Laxmi is STILL in good hands…”

Thank you Gerhard once again for all that you are doing.

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