Indian Doctor Wants Indian Government to Help Rescue His Pet Leopard and Jaguar From War-Torn Ukraine

The 42-year-old was forced to leave them with a local farmer when he left Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, in search of alternate sources of income, and is now based in Poland

Screen grab from Jagaur Kumar's YouTube channel

Among the Indians who fled Ukraine early this year when Russia invaded the country, were heart-warming tales of those who managed to rescue their dogs and cats, refusing to leave their furry companions behind.

And then there is Dr Gidikumar Patil, an orthopaedic doctor from Andhra Pradesh, who had to leave his pet jaguar and panther after he fled to Poland after being forced out of the war zone. Known as Jaguar Kumar, Dr Patil has now appealed to the Indian government to save his “precious cats”, Yasha, a male lep-jag that is a leopard and jaguar hybrid, and Sabrina, a female black panther. Both the pets can be seen in a video he had uploaded recently on his YouTube channel titled Jaguar Kumar.

The 42-year-old was forced to leave them with a local farmer when he left Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, in search of alternate sources of income. "My humble message is to immediately consider and rapidly act to fix this conundrum with the best possible solution, keeping in view of the exact current situation of the cats and an emphasis on their immediate safety," Dr Patil was quoted by PTI at his refuge in Warsaw, Poland.

With the Indian embassy in Kyiv unable to help, he said his message for the Indian government to help him through his “conundrum". "My feeling staying away from my cats is too intense; at times depression, wistful reminiscences of those fond memories and apprehensions about their well-being and fate overall," he said.

The Ukrainian citizen, who is originally from Tanuku in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, had been working in a now bombed hospital at Svavtove in Severodonetsk when the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out earlier this year. He had acquired his two pets from a zoo in Kyiv two years ago and was very attached to them.

Through his YouTube channel with over 62,000 subscribers, Mr Patil has been streaming updates of his curious life with the big cats as pets over the past few 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 onslaught on his way out of Luhansk as they proved his neutrality in the conflict.

For the safety of his pets, Mr Patil says he is open to any solution - whether it is closer to their current home in neighbouring western Ukraine or somewhere in Europe or India.

"The principal issue is whether I can continue authorised access to them, which is crucial as this actually is a serious project. I'm not sure if the wildlife rules and legislations in India, whether they permit this kind of thing. The fundamental concept of raising these remarkable cats is to procreate these 'panther hybrids' by persistent breeding until they sire the desired hybrid, perhaps the first of its kind, which would then be raised and perpetuated into the wild," he said.