GUWAHATI: A leopard strayed into a girls' hostel in Guwahati on Monday, triggering panic among the people, officials said.
Mousumi Bora who owns the hostel, located in Hengerabari, said she had mistaken the leopard that was trapped under a sofa to be a piece of cloth and was about to pick it up when she realised it was a wild animal.
Bora and the 15 inmates of the hostel locked themselves up in a room, and informed forest officials, she said.
Officials of the Assam State Zoo, Wildlife Division and Territorial Division along with police soon arrived with a tranquiliser gun.
It took them more than four hours to tranquilise the leopard, officials said.
When the animal was hit with the tranquiliser shot, the leopard entered a nearby house, causing panic in the area, they said.
Forest officials then rescued the tranquilised animal, put it in a cage and took it to the Assam State Zoo, said Tejas Mariswamy, the divisional forest officer of the zoo.
The leopard will be in the zoo till it wakes up and then examined if it has sustained any injuries, he said.
A microchip will be inserted into the animal before it is released in the forest, he added.
Bora said that in the CCTV footage of her hostel premises, the animal was seen entering the premises in the wee hours.
Assam Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya tweeted, "Another successful operation today as we safely rescued an Indian leopard which took shelter in a hostel in Hengrabari, Guwahati. The success can be attributed to the timely intervention of our Assam State Zoo, Wildlife Division and Territorial Division staff and police team."
Leopards straying into houses in Guwahati are frequent as the city is surrounded by hills and forests.