Four persons including a wildlife wing veterinary officer sustained injuries while they tried to control two fully grown female leopards, which escaped from their cage on Saturday morning. Both animals were captured later, caretakers at the Rescue Centre in downtown Tutikandi said.

Chief Conservator of Forests Sanjeeva Pandey said that on hearing that the leopards had escaped, a wildlife team reached the spot and found them in the bushes near the Centre after more than two hours of searching.

“One of them was easily tranquilised with the help of a cartridge-propelled rifle. The other one, which was 15 years old, attacked the caretakers when they were trying to tranquilise her. Four people, including veterinary surgeon Sandeep Rattan, got injuries. But it was captured by giving an additional dose of sedatives,” Mr. Pandey said. The injured were later admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College hospital.

He added that in an act of courage, Mr. Rattan did not allow the leopard to release its grip on him as it could have attacked the children of an orphanage near the centre and other people as well. His palm was badly injured and he sustained further injuries on his face, back and legs.

Mr. Pandey said both the captured leopards were recovering from the sedatives. The police are looking into how the enclosure locks were opened.