Thirteen people were mauled by a wild leopard who broke into a residential campus in an Indian oil compound Sunday morning.

Officials were forced to shoot it to death after a tranquilizer dart was ineffective.

The leopard wandered inside the Oil India Limited field headquarters and residential campus at Kuliajan in the far northeastern tip of the country.

“We were informed about a leopard straying into a bungalow of an Oil executive on Sunday morning,” said P Shiv Kumar, divisional forest officer of Digboi forest division.

“By the time we got there, the leopard had attacked five people. We tried to tranquillize the leopard, but it got agitated – which is normal before sedatives takes effect – and pounced on the large crowd gathered at the spot,” Kumar said to various news outlets.

In total it attacked 13 people before security personnel shot it. Some were innocent bystanders, others got involved in the fight trying to defend co-workers.

Sivasagar Divisional Forest Officer Ranjan Das said this was not the first leopard spotted on the Oil campus. The campus is near the Joypore reserve forest where leopards live.

“At least four leopards have been sighted in the area in the past few days. The leopard family had killed several cattle in the area, as such we have placed a cage using a goat as a bait,” Das said.

A caged female leopard was later released at Abhayapur reserve forest, while forest officials are trying ot track down the remaining leopards.

Photo: Matias (Hiasinho, flickr)

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