Petrified Little Civet Saved From Drowning After Falling Into 25ft Well

A petrified little civet in India has been saved from drowning after falling into a 25-foot well.

The distressed animal was found trapped in the well by a local farmer in a village in the Pune district of Maharashtra state, Wildlife SOS said in a statement.

Rescue teams from Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department were immediately called to the scene. When they arrived, they spent an hour trying to rescue the small animal.

After making several failed attempts to escape, the civet jumped onto a ledge to escape the water. A video of the rescue operation shows the civet running around the ledge, appearing to search for an escape route.

A picture shows the rescued civet. It was released back into the wild after its rescue. WildlifeSOS

During the rescue operation, one of the rescuers climbed down the well to save the civet.

The footage shows the rescuer easing himself down while attached to a rope, and attempting to catch the animal as it continued to run along the ledge. Eventually, the civet was rescued and taken to veterinarians for a medical check-up. Despite its ordeal, the civet was found to be healthy and deemed fit to be released back into the wild.

Civets are native to south and southeast Asia, and are a protected species under the Wildlife Protect Act 1971.

Wildlife SOS said civets are often at risk of poaching because of their pelt, meat and musk, which is used in perfumes and medicines.

Situations like this are not uncommon, as many wells across India are uncovered—many animals do not notice the gaping hole in the ground before it is too late. Wildlife SOS has been campaigning for wells across India to be covered for some time, to prevent wildlife from drowning.

This well, however, was covered.

"Though this is a covered well, we suspect that the civet had slipped in while water was being drawn out from a small opening to irrigate the fields," Dr. Nikhil Bangar, wildlife veterinary officer at Wildlife SOS, said in a statement. "Luckily, the animal had not sustained any injuries."

Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, said in a statement that over the years, WildlifeSOS has "rescued numerous animals trapped in wells," from civet cats to leopards.

"WildlifeSOS has initiated a participative community project that is both revolutionary, impact-oriented and effective to cover open wells in Maharashtra," he said.

Wildlife SOS has already identified 40 wells in the state that have proved a problem for native wildlife, and so far, the organization has worked to cover four of them.

In recent months, Wildlife SOS has rescued two leopards from open wells. Leopards are particularly vulnerable to open wells, as they usually prowl villages during the nighttime looking for prey, and accidentally step on the opening of the well.

The civet balanced itself on a ledge to stop from drowning. Wildlife SOS