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A leopard sparked panic in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut when it strayed into a hospital, a movie theatre and an apartment complex while evading people who were trying to capture the big cat. The local administration closed down schools and colleges in the city after the prowling leopard injured several people in the past three days.
February 23, 2014: A leopard breaking out of a cemented window at the Meerut Cantonment Hospital, in which it was locked down. Still on the loose, the cat has injured seven people. (Chahatram/Hindustan Times)
The same leopard leaps across an under-construction structure near a furniture market in the Degumpur residential area in Meerut. The big cat has sparked panic in the city after straying inside a hospital, a cinema and an apartment block before evading captors. (Chahatram/Hindustan Times)
This, however, is not the first instance of a big cat coming face to face with humans in an urban setting. Several incidents in the past have raised concerns about the depleting habitats for big cats, which is forcing them into populated areas.
We show you a collection of photos of past incidents of leopards at close quarters with man:
February 10, 2014: A leopard being shot dead by the army after the cat attacked a patrolling party at a village in south Kashmir's Anantnag district. (Photo with special arrangement. Greater Kashmir/Sajad Muniwardi)
Pictures of a leopard sitting on a wall near an industrial area in Ranipur range of Rajaji National Park. (Amit Verma/Hindustan Times)
April 4, 2013: A leopard looking up from within a well in a residential area of Guwahati, before being tranquilsed and taken to Guwahati Zoo. The fully grown cat caused a major scare in the area. (AFP Photo)
March 30, 2013: Forest guards carrying a leopard after tranquillising the animal in a residential area near Kalipur in Guwahati. The cat was wandering through a part of the densely populated city when curious crowds startled the animal. (AFP Photo)
June 20, 2012: A male leopard bites a net after falling into a water reservoir tank at a tea estate in Haskhowa, around 45km from Siliguri. The animal was rescued by the Sukna Forest rescue team from the Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary by lowering a ladder and a net into the tank. (AFP Photo)
January 27, 2012: A leopard being kept in a cage at the Assam state zoo after it was captured in Lakhara area of Guwahati. The leopard mauled two people including a pregnant woman after straying into the city. (AFP Photo)
January 7, 2012: A leopard attacking a labourer in a residential neighbourhood of Silphukhuri area in Guwahati. Three people were seriously injured in the leopard attack before the feline was tranquilised and taken to Assam state zoo. (AFP Photo)
January 07, 2012: The leopard, which attacked the labourer (right) in a residential colony in Guwahati, being taken away after being tranquillised by zoo officials. (PTI Photo)
January 7, 2012: A photo of the leopard being carried away after being tranquilised. (AFP Photo)
July 19, 2011: A forest guard aiming his rifle after being attacked by a leopard at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara on the outskirts of Siliguri. Six people were mauled by the leopard after it strayed into the village. (AFP Photo)
July 19, 2011: The same leopard attacks another forest guard at the village. It was caught by forestry department officials later. (AFP Photo)
March 4, 2010: A leopard being carried away after it was rescued from the residential area of Kahilipara in Guwahati by zoological officials who took it to Assam state zoo. (AFP Photo)
March 28, 2009: An Assam state zoo veterinarian carrying a tranquilised leopard from a well in a village on the outskirts of Guwahati. The leopard was later taken to the Guwahati Zoo. (AFP Photo)
March 15, 2009: A leopard walking with a tranquiliser dart in his neck in the residential area of Jyotikuchi in Guwahati. Three people were mauled by the cat after it strayed into the city before it was tranquilised by forestry department officials. The leopard was wandering through a densely populated area when it came face to face with the locals. (AFP Photo)
03 February 2007: A forest department official carrying a leopard after it was tranquilized in Guwahati. The cat mauled three people after straying into the city. (AFP Photo)