Lonely Planet Writer

If travelling to India, beware of cute 'kittens' that may in fact be baby leopards

If you are travelling in India and come across what looks like pet kittens, beware as they may in fact be leopard cubs. The warning comes after a six-year-old boy from Paderu in Andhra’s Visakhapatnam district found two cubs in the bushes and brought them home and played with them for two days.

A six-year-old boy in India mistook baby leopard cubs for kittens. Image: Picture by Tambako the Jaguar via Getty Images
A six-year-old boy in India mistook baby leopard cubs for kittens. Image: Picture by Tambako the Jaguar via Getty Images

Thinking they were kittens, the young boy fed the cubs milk and food and they wandered freely around his home. His parents also remained unaware that the “kittens” were in fact leopard cubs until neighbours noticed and raised an alarm.

A six-year-old boy in India mistook baby leopard cubs for kittens. Image: Family released
A six-year-old boy in India mistook baby leopard cubs for kittens. Image: Family released

Forest officials arrived at the boy’s house and took the cubs into their custody, and later released them back into the forest. They warned that the boy would have been in danger if the mother leopard was anywhere near the spot where he found the baby leopards, as cubs remain under their mum’s care until they turn two.

A six-year-old boy in India mistook baby leopard cubs for kittens. Image: Anup Shah
A six-year-old boy in India mistook baby leopard cubs for kittens. Image: Anup Shah

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