Zee Media Bureau
Meerut: A high alert has been sounded in Meerut by the authorities after a leopard entered the Cantonment Hospital on Sunday, triggering panic among several patients and the hospital staff present there.
The big cat was spotted by a caretaker as it was entering the male ward, where three patients were undergoing treatment.
Soon after that, the Army was called in to catch the irritated wild cat and protect the civilians.
The Army jawans had cordoned off the densely populated area and an expert team from the Wildlife Trust was also summoned from Afzal Garh, near Bijnor, to the catch the beast.
It was also reported that a police inspector and a media person were injured when they ventured too close to the irritated leopard.
Timber merchant Gaurav Mehndiratta claimed to have first seen the leopard around 11.30 am at his warehouse toilet.
"I was just strolling in an open area when I suddenly saw the leopard coming out of a makeshift toilet. I ran away and called the police," he was quoted as saying.
Local police was also informed about it, which immediately cordoned off the area and searched for the leopard for about two hours but could not spot it.
As the news spread, a large number of people had gathered around the premises. The leopard was again spotted by a curious onlooker hiding behind a timber plank. Sighting the wild cat, the police fired two shots in the air after which the beast disappeared from the scene and resurfaced at the Cantonment Hospital.
When a few photographers tried to take pictures of the beast from a window, it leapt to attack them. Although it could not come out of the window, it broke the panes and injured two people.
The Meerut administration has ordered the closure of all schools, colleges and markets today.
Officials said the leopard has been located and wildlife experts are trying to overpower the big cat.
According to forest officials, the leopard might have strayed into the city from the neighbouring jungles.