Panic ensued at a girls’ hostel in Assam’s Guwahati after a leopard entered the premises in the wee hours of Monday through a grilled verandah and got trapped under a cane sofa. The incident happened at Milestone Paying Guest Hostel located at Hengerabari area of Guwahati and was first spotted by the owner of the hostel who informed the forest officials. Also Read - Panic Grips Residents After Leopard Spotted Roaming in Streets of Ghaziabad, CCTV Footage Emerges | Watch

Around 15 girls were present in the hostel when the big cat entered the premises, who immediately locked themselves in their rooms.

“I was the one to see it first. I mistook it for a piece of cloth and nearly grabbed its tail before realizing what it is. We locked ourselves in and informed forest officials. There are 15 girls in the hostel at present and they also locked themselves in their rooms immediately,” Mousumi Bora, owner of the paying guest hostel told Hindustan Times.

It took forest officials three hours to tranquilise the leopard after which the sedated animal was sent to a Assam state zoo. At the zoo, it will be tested for injuries and will be later set free into the wild after being fitted with a microchip that can help forest officials track its movements.

“Another successful operation today as we safely rescued an Indian leopard which took shelter in a hostel in Hengrabari, Guwahati. The success can be attributed to the timely intervention of our Assam State Zoo, Wildlife Division & Territorial Division staff & police team,” Parimal Suklabaidya, Assam Minister of Excise, Forest and Environment told Guwahati Plus.

As Guwahati is surrounded by forests and hills, leopards are frequently seen in the city and sometimes enter houses.

Last week, a leopard was spotted roaming around Ghaziabad’s Raj Nagar. When a sweeper was about to start the generator, the leopard jumped on him, causing him to scream. Some other workers reached there and attacked the leopard with batons, following which it climbed a tree and entered an institute campus, an official said.