Andhra doctor calls on India to rescue his pet jaguar, panther, from Ukraine

London: An orthopedic doctor from Andhra Pradesh, who was based in Ukraine when conflict with Russia broke out, has appealed to the Indian government to help rescue his pet jaguar and panther left behind when he was forced out of the war zone.

dr. Gidikumar Patil, known as Jaguar Kumar for his unusual pets, says saving the life of his “precious cat” Yasha, a male rare “lep-jag” hybrid between a leopard and jaguar, and Sabrina, a female black panther .

Also read: Ukraine ‘will not conduct negotiations’ with Putin: Zelenskyy tells PM Modi on call

The 42-year-old was forced to leave them with a local farmer when he left Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, a hotbed of conflict in the region, in search of alternative sources of income.

With the Indian embassy in Kiev unable to help, he said his message to the government of India would be to help him through his “riddle”.

“My humble message is to immediately consider this conundrum and quickly solve it with the best possible solution, taking into account the cats’ exact current situation and emphasizing their immediate safety,” Patil told PTI from his refuge in Warsaw, Poland.

“My sense of staying away from my cats is too intense; depression at times, wistful memories of those fond memories and concern for their well-being and fate in general,” he said.

A Ukrainian citizen, Patil was working in a now-bombed hospital in Svavtove in Severodonetsk when the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out earlier this year.

He had bought his two unusual pets about two years ago at a zoo in the Ukrainian capital Kiev and has been devoted to them ever since.

Through his YouTube channel with more than 62,000 subscribers, Patil has been streaming updates on his curious life with the big cats as pets in recent months and says his dream project is to receive enough funding for a breeding project to help protect the endangered species. In fact, it was these videos that protected him from the Russian attack on his way out of Luhansk, as they proved his neutrality in the conflict.

For the safety of his pets, Patil says he’s open to any solution any friendly country wants to offer, be it closer to their current home in neighboring Western Ukraine or somewhere in Europe or India.

“The main issue is whether I can continue to have authorized access to them, which is crucial because this is a serious project. I’m not sure about the natural laws and regulations in India, whether they allow this sort of thing,” Patil said.

“I’m hopeful it will work, but first they need to be brought into relative safety by the governments with immediate and effective action. Basically, the fundamental concept of raising these remarkable cats is to reproduce these ‘panther hybrids’ by persevering. breed until they sire the desired hybrid, perhaps the first of its kind, which would then be raised and perpetuated in the wild,” he said.

Given the “imminent danger” that the animals are in the conflict zone, the doctor says his main concern remains the “quick safe evacuation of my dearly beloved cats” while the other aspects of his project should be pursued in the future.

As a middle-class man, the animal lover has used up most of his savings to feed and care for the big cats. From updates he’s gotten from the local farmer who now cares for them in Ukraine, it seems the bond is mutual as they reportedly yearn for him too.

Patil hails from Tanuku in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

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