The leopard entered a locality in Thane's Ulhasnagar township on Sunday, the police said. The big cat was caught on CCTV after being spotted by a security guard. Video shows the feline moving across a side alley of a bungalow complex and leaving the building from its front entrance.
"I was sitting in front of the building when I saw the spotted cat jump across the wall and enter the society. It was too big to be anything else," said Manoj Patil, a security guard told Indian Express.
Before the security guard could alert the occupants, the animal had left the property and moved to another location, said local police officials.
As news of the animal's presence spread, scared residents of the area were forced to lock themselves inside their homes. This is reportedly the first time a leopard was sighted within the residential area of Ulhasnagar, Hindustan Times quotes a resident.
Forest officials eventually managed to tranquilise and restrict the animal after four to five hours, said officials. Video shared by news agency ANI shows officials from the forest and police department carrying the dazed animal to a truck in the presence of locals who gathered to see the leopard that caused the panic.
The wild animal was rescued and taken to Mumbai's Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Officials suspect the leopard could have come from Bhimashankar forest range, nearly 50 kilometres away from the area, reports The Times of India.
(With PTI inputs) Click for more trending news