A leopard created a furore in the hill town early yesterday as it walked into a hotel after breaking a glass window. The animal reportedly entered a room occupied by newly married couple in the hotel in the Tallital area at around 4.30am.
When an alarm was raised, the big cat rushed into the bathroom attached to the room from where it escaped through the ventilation window after a couple of hours.
Sumit Rathore, 31, the guest into whose room the animal had crept in, told Times Of India that he was awakened by the sound of shattering glass.
“To my horror, I felt something moving on my bed. It was then that I saw the leopard, which immediately ran inside the bathroom. Even though I was shocked and scared, I quickly jumped out of bed and locked the bathroom door,” he said.
After the hotel staff informed the police and forest officials, attempts to evict the trapped animal began. By then, the news had spread like wildfire and a crowd had gathered outside the hotel. Someone also made a short eight-second video which has gone viral on social media. Eyewitnesses said the rescue team tried to bring out the animal safely but the leopard, presumably scared by the noise that the crowd was making, tried to attack one of the personnel who were trying to sedate it with a dart gun. Later, it managed to escape on its own.
Tejasvini Arvind Patil, divisional forest officer, Nainital, said that the leopard seemed to have drifted into the town searching for food at the garbage mound near Hanumangarhi. “Perhaps it was chased by dogs, as a result of which it came to the hotel. Seeing its image reflected in the window, it probably mistook it for another leopard and attacked the reflection thus breaking the window and entering the room.”