Leopard on the loose: Big cat goes on the attack after straying into village
This is the horrifying moment a fully grown leopard pounces on a forestry department official in a village in deepest India. The big cat mauled six people after it strayed into the village from a nearby national park and became startled by the curious humans.
The forest guards eventually managed to corner and successfully tranquilise the beast but not before it attacked one of their own men.
These pictures show the amazing scene as it unfolded in Prakash Nagar village, near Salugara on the outskirts of Siliguri, in Assam, north-east India.Perched on corrugated rooftops and walls, the villagers watched the action in a mixture of horror and excitement.
Kanchan Banerjee, a forest ranger of the Sukna Wildlife Range, told The Hindu newspaper: 'It was spotted near a house in the morning by villagers who raised the alarm, and this startled the leopard.
'With the villagers trying to chase it, it tried to flee and injured five of them in the process.'Then, the leopard took shelter in an abandoned house.' During the forest guards' attempt to capture the beast alive, the leopard - which weighed up to 198lb (90kg) - critically injured one as he tried to tranquilise it in the house.
It then fled into the bushes. Three policeman armed with batons and knives eventually caught the animal after it leapt on rangers as they approached it.
The guards eventually get the beast under control and tranquilise it. It then makes its way to an alley before falling into unconsciousness
The leopard was tranquilised and fell into unconsciousness as it made its way into an alley. It was taken to a veterinary centre in Sukna but died from its injuries.
Forest department officials believe the animal wandered into the village from either the Mahananda forest reserve or the Baikunthapar range.
Prakash Nagar, which is surrounded by national parks, sits in the slim section of India between Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.