Friday, 28 February 2014

Leopard Prowls Indian Hospital for 12 Hours

By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer | February 25, 2014 10:03am ET

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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