A leopard that entered the campus of Rangapani cancer hospital near here on Wednesday evening was shot dead when the animal attacked forest department employees who arrived for its tranquillisation.
The big cat was believed to have strayed out of the Bagdogra forest. The animal also injured an elderly man on the hospital premises, after which a team of foresters arrived and fired a dart at it.
The foresters thought the leopard became unconscious and started arrangements to net and take the animal away. However, the big cat awoke and mauled five foresters, including range officer Sanjay Dutta. They opened fire in self-defence and the leopard died on the spot.
The foresters’ injuries were not serious. The carcass of the leopard was taken for autopsy.