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Leopard Injures Seven After Escaping In Indian Town Of Meerut (PICTURES)

24/02/2014 15:36 GMT | Updated 24/02/2014 15:59 GMT

An Indian town is on lockdown after a wild leopard rampaged through the streets, injuring seven people and sending panicked residents fleeing for safety.

Schools and colleges have been closed and a high state of alert has been declared in Meerut, north-east of Delhi, the BBC reported.

The big cat had initially been contained in a hospital on Sunday but later escaped by breaking a window.

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The leopard makes its escape

A team of wildlife experts have been called in to attempt to tranquillise the animal.

Sushant Sharma, divisional forest officer, said: "We received calls about the animal's location in Abulane market. We are visiting the area with a team of wildlife experts to tranquillise the leopard", reports the Hindustantimes.

leopard india

Those hurt by the leopard have minor injuries including a police officer with a bitten shoulder.

Senior superintendent of police Onkar Singh, said: "We urged the public not to go near the animal, but they went close out of curiosity and the animal attacked them, inflicting minor injuries."

Although shy, big cats sometimes stray from forests into populated areas.