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Leopard Prowls Indian Hospital for 12 Hours

endangered species, leopards, leopard photos, western Maharashtra animals
A leopard on the prowl. Western Maharashtra is an altered landscape, dominated by crops, devoid of wilderness and wild herbivore prey, the PLOS One study said. (Image credit: Project Waghoba)

A leopard terrorized patients at a city hospital in India for 12 hours, wounding a police officer before crashing through a window to escape.

The leopard was first spotted in a timber warehouse on Sunday in Meerut, Utter Pradesh, a city of about 3.5 million people. After being teased by a gathering crowd on Monday, the leopard hopped into the Meerut Cantonment Hospital. Despite the efforts of wildlife officials to tranquilize the cat, it eventually escaped and is still on the loose. Officials declared Monday a school holiday for children as a result.

India has about 8,000 leopards, and as urban sprawl creeps into forested areas, the wild cat has come into increasing conflict with humans, Shekhar Kumar Niraj, who heads the India chapter of TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network run by the World Wildlife Fund, told the Wall Street Journal. Last year a leopard killed a 9-year-old boy in the megalopolis of Mumbai.

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Tia Ghose
Tia has interned at Science News,, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.