Unusual Leopard Cow Friendship During Lockdown: Fact Check


Actual Details of the Leopard Cow Friendship

The photographs in circulation show an old, 2002 incident in Antoli village of Vadodara district in Gujarat, India when a year-old leopard and a three-year old cow grew an unusual bonding. The incident is not something that happened in 2020 during lockdown period to contain Coronavirus. The leopard used to come around midnight to sit, play and cuddle with the motherly cow (tied). As you can see in the photographs, the cat and its bovine friend (predator and prey) were totally at ease with each other. At the time, the young leopard did not harm other domestic animals like goats tied nearby.

The villagers came to know about it in October 2002 when dogs used to bark upon the leopard’s arrival. The villagers changed their sleeping habits to witness the spectacle. Back then, The Times of India website reported details of the incident with title ‘The love story of a leopard and a cow‘. The visit of the leopard reduced after spectators increased along with photographers and wild life officials trying to capture the rare incident. Talking about the incident, wildlife warden of Vadodara, Rohit Vyas said the animals’ behavior is really surprising.

The story of unlikely friendship between different animals is not new. A Lion, Tiger and Bear lived together as Friends in Georgia, USA. The lion, tiger and bear were rescued as cubs from drug dealers and Noah’s Ark, a wild-animal rescue center rehabilitated them together.

Old Photographs Resurface

In early May 2020, Forester in Odisha, Susanta Nanda shared another, old picture of the leopard and cow. He explained the leopard visited the cow for several nights and the cow treated the leopard as its own calf.

It is unclear how exactly the bonding developed between the leopard and the cow in Antoli village. Conservator of forests, Vadodara, H S Singh said animal behavior can modify sometimes. He also mentioned the probability the leopard passed the sub-adult stage, lives in a rural area, not strictly a wild environment. So, it is possible, the young leopard was seeing maternal qualities in the cow, which in turn did not feel any threat from the leopard.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of Hoax and Facts.

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Prashanth Damarla