A leopard sparked panic in a north Indian city when it strayed inside a hospital, a cinema and an apartment block while evading captors, an official said Monday.
Authorities closed schools and colleges in Meerut, 60 kilometers (37 miles) northeast of the Indian capital, after the leopard was discovered prowling the city's streets on Sunday, a senior city official said.
"Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to track the leopard down. We have launched a massive hunt for the beast," said additional district magistrate S.K. Dubey.
The cat was found inside an empty ward of an army hospital on Sunday before wildlife officers were called and managed to fire a tranquiliser dart into it, Dubey told AFP.
"But despite that he managed to break (out through) the iron grilles and escaped. He then sneaked into the premises of a cinema hall before entering an apartment block. After that we lost track of the cat," he said.
Authorities have urged the closure of markets in the city of 3.5 million until the animal, which has left six people injured, was captured, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.