Leopard Loose In India Causes Panic, Several Injured

The big cat was seen in the empty ward of a hospital, a cinema hall and an apartment block before disappearing in Meerut.

Leopard Loose In India Causes Panic, Several Injured
The Guardian

A big cat on the loose in India prompts panic. A leopard has already hurt least six people trying to get it out of the city and under control.

"Look at that! That cat's fast! It strayed from the wild into a town, and then, it hid in a hospital." (Via KCTV)

"The leopard was also shown pushing its way through a lattice wall at the hospital as a police officer in a riot helmet tried to hit it in the head with a long baton." (Via Sky News)

The leopard was first spotted in an empty ward of that hospital on Sunday. A city official says wildlife officers managed to hit it with a tranquilizer dart, but it still broke out of the hospital and ran off.

After that, witnesses spotted the cat at a movie theater and an apartment block before it disappeared again. (Via The Independent)

The Guardian's Australia bureau posted this video showing at least one man hurt in the attempt to capture the leopard and dozens of police and troops trying to surround it.

A local magistrate told the BBC"We have closed schools and colleges in the town because we are unable to locate the leopard and do not want to take any chances. This is only a precautionary measure."

Wildlife experts say this incident and other big cat close encounters are signs of a developing country with less and less habitat.

​A 5-year-old boy was mauled to death by a leopard just last week in an Indian state farther to the south of Meerut. (Via ABP News)

The World Wildlife Fund has called for better management of forests in India and a spokesman said, "Leopards are large territorial mammals, they need space to move around. Some of their corridors are getting blocked so there is bound to be an interface. We can't put all the leopards into cages. We can't remove all the people living near forested areas." (Via Sky News)