In 2002, the quiet village of Antoli in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, had a nightly visitor, a leopard. After they observed the wild animal for some time, it became obvious that the creature wasn’t looking to cause harm.
Instead, she was looking for someone, an unlikely friend who seemingly brought her comfort during the night as the villagers watched on in amazement.
An Indian Village Was Experiencing Leopard Sightings
In 2002, the town of Antoli in Vadodara, Gujarat, was experiencing an uptick in leopard sightings… a wild animal no one in the village particularly wanted to encounter while walking through town.
So, the forest rangers decided to take drastic measures to ensure the safety of the public, relocating the leopards to a nearby forest.
The Relocation Was Meant To Give People Peace Of Mind
The relocation gave the townspeople some peace of mind. That is until one particular leopard began making nightly trips back into the village. The wild animal wasn’t there to cause anyone harm, though.
She didn’t even seem to want to take any food lying around. All the leopard seemed to want was a cow.
One Leopard Kept Visiting A Family’s Farm
It all started when one family noticed a leopard walking around their yard at night. Of course, they were scared. The family owned two bulls and a cow; they didn’t want their animals to get tangled up with a wild leopard.
To their astonishment, though something else happened entirely — something amazing.
It Was As If The Two Animals Knew One Another
It turned out the leopard wanted nothing to do with the two bulls on the property. It went straight for the cow, almost as if she knew the farm animal.
As the leopard approached, the family watched as the cow showed no signs of terror. The cow actually walked forward to meet the leopard!
There Was No Aggression On Either Side
Amazed, the family watched on. It looked as though the two animals knew one another, two unlikely friends who seemed completely at ease in the presence of one another.
The cow even went as far as licking the leopard’s head! There were zero signs of aggression on either animal’s end.
No One Knows What Happened To The Leopard’s Mother
While some people thought the leopard was left at childbirth or its mother passed away, sources have proven the claims false. It seemed as though the leopard just enjoyed the company of the cow.
The wild animal would show up at the house every night, going to see its friend for a few hours.
The Leopard Came Every Night For A Few Months
According to the family, the leopard would appear in their yard from around 9:30 pm until 11 pm, a nightly ritual that continued from October 8, 2002, until October 22, 2002.
The leopard appeared again after some time away, meeting her cow friend from November 4, 2002, until November 29, 2002.
All Of A Sudden, She Stopped Visiting
While it looked as though the leopard had a pretty set schedule for meeting up with her friend, it stopped. The family of the cow is unsure where the leopard went after November 29, since he never returned until later in December.
Even so, townspeople said they saw the large cat around.
The Would Cuddle, Clean One Another, And Walk Around
When the leopard visited the cow, the two would hang out like age-old friends. They would walk around together, lick each other’s heads, and even cuddle on the ground with one another.
It was quite a sight to behold since the animals seemed to really care for each other.
March 2003 Was The Last Time She Visited
Sadly, the last time the leopard came around to see her friend was the first week of March in 2003. After that, the family never saw the leopard on their property again.
They’re not sure where the wild animal ran off to, but they are happy their cow had a friend.
Many People Question Why They Were Friends
Since the story of the cow and leopard came about in a viral story, many people speculated as to why the wild animal was so friendly with a farm animal.
Some thought the leopard was left as a cub, and the cow offered milk and safety for her.
Everything’s Been Blown Out Of Proportion
These stories have been exaggerated over the years, with sources proving the leopard’s supposed abandonment being false. While no one really knows how the leopard first came into contact with the cow, their friendship was put on nightly display for the family.
The leopard never showed any aggression toward the cow.
The Times Of India Got the Inside Scoop
According to the Times of India, “The big cat slowly rolls over and raises one paw and puts it gently on the cow’s head, and makes purring sounds.”
“The cow lets out a soft ‘moo’ in response and licks the leopard. The leopard, obviously in a playful mood, sits there waiting to be cuddled.”
Small Crowds Began To Gather
The unlikely friendship between the two animals might have started with the family, but it soon attracted the attention of some of the other villagers. Eventually, small crowds waited around, hoping to see the leopard interact with the cow.
They even began gathering on nearby rooftops, hoping for a small glimpse!
The Crowds Spooked The Leopard
The leopard went to see the cow consecutively for many nights. It wasn’t until the crowds began to form that the wild animal began to get a bit weary of coming around.
In fact, it might have been the growing presence of the townsfolk that ultimately had the leopard leave for good.
Even A Wildlife Warden Wasn’t Sure What Happened
According to Rohit Vyas, an honorary wildlife warden of Vadodara and someone who witnessed the interaction between the leopard and cow, “We have been keeping watch, but unfortunately, the frequency of the leopard’s visits has decreased.”
Vyas was not sure the reason behind the leopard’s departure, only that it stopped coming around.
“…Animal Behavior Can Get Modified.”
While many people have speculated over how the leopard and cow knew each other and why they were friends, no one knows for sure. During an interview with the Times of India, conservationist H.S. Singh said, “Sometimes animal behavior can get modified.”
Singh further explained this reasoning had to do with the area the leopard lived.
It Might Have To Do With The Rural Environment
H.S. Singh went on, telling the Times of India, “In this case, probably because the leopard which has passed the sub-adult stage, lives in a rural area and not strictly a wild environment.”
Due to the rural area the leopard lived in, she might have been used to seeing farm animals around and grew up not intending to hurt them.
Her Mother Was Relocated
As it turns out, people got down to the truth of what happened to the leopard’s mother. It seems as though she was relocated to the nearby forest along with other leopards in the area and was separated from her young cub.
Even so, it does not explain the relationship between the sub-adult female and cow.
A Beautiful Friendship
While no one is likely ever to know how the leopard and cow became friends, the world is pretty pleased that they were lucky enough to witness the remarkable companionship between two unlikely creatures.
And getting footage of then relationship is all in thanks to the family’s curious six-year-old, who bore witness to the two animals’ initial interaction.
An Unusual Discovery
Africa is known for its incredible safari life, so spotting a wild animal isn’t uncommon in many parts of the continent. While it would terrify some to occupy the same space as a giant mammal, it’s a fascinating experience that captivates those who have a taste for adventure.
A South African farmer is one of those individuals who would be used to spotting elephants, rhinos, and other large creatures roaming around. Still, he knew something was wrong when he saw a particular creature out in the distance.