Shocking footage has emerged of a wild leopard running amok without provocation in a town in northeast India, injuring at least 15 people.
the clip circulating on social networks Tuesday shows the big cat leaping over a barbed wire fence before clinging to a passing van in Jorhat.
The animal manages to tear off trim on the outside of the vehicle before descending back onto the road.
The leopard attacked at least 15 people, including a ranger and a mother and two daughters, before escaping into the brush, News18 reported.
“Some locals got clean shaven as the leopard wandered their yards,” Ranjit Konwar, a divisional forest officer from Jorhat, told The Telegraph.
“Many of the injured were bitten and had to be hospitalized, but they now seem out of danger.”
The animal was tranquilized last Thursday after a two-day search. He will undergo further examination before being released into Kaziranga National Park.
Leopards do not usually attack humans without provocation, officials told The Telegraph. Although it is unclear what precipitated Jorhat’s rampage, it is believed the animal escaped from nearby Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary in search of food.
Big cat attacks have unfortunately become more common in India as the growing population and the need for housing and infrastructure encroach on forested areas.
In early November, two similar clips went viral of a leopard attacking a motorcyclist in the southern town of Krishnarajanagara before being overpowered by a group of villagers.
“Crazy! Never seen this on video where men caught a leopard with their bare hands!!!! Brave,” one commenter exclaimed at the time.
In 2021 alone, 500 people and 100 elephants were killed in human-animal conflicts. India’s Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav blamed the deaths on “competition for resources”.