Thane: A leopard was spotted at a popular shopping mall and at a hotel in Thane city of Maharashtra on Wednesday morning, triggering panic among people.

The big cat was first seen in the parking area of Korum Mall by some persons following which they alerted police and forest officials, Thane civic body’s regional disaster management cell chief Santosh Kadam said.

The police and forest officials rushed to the mall, located in Samata Nagar, and after a hectic search for around two to three hours, they concluded that the feline must have escaped from the premises by jumping off its compound wall, Kadam said.

“A leopard has been located at the basement of Hotel Satkar Residency, attempts to capture it are underway. Forest rescue team has arrived on the spot,” said senior Police Inspector Pradeep Giridhar.

The panther was later spotted by some people in the basement of a hotel located near the mall, he said, adding that efforts were being made to catch the animal.