A leopard was shot dead in the northern Iranian city of Ghaemshahr in Iran on Sunday after attacking and injuring a policeman.
The endangered big cat "was killed by two bullets to save the life of the police officer”, creating uproar among the Iranian social media users.
A video circulating on social media shows the panicked leopard standing on the front side of an apartment building above a bank.
The director general of Mazandaran province Environment Protection Organization, Attaullah Kavian, said in a video message on Sunday that the leopard was about five years old and was seen in the city in the morning and then took refuge in a garden house.
He added that despite numerous warnings, a large number of people gathered in front of the house, which panicked the leopard, and made it attack the police officers who had entered the premises.
The officers fired at the animal before the Environment Organization shot it with tranquillizer darts.
It was transferred to a wildlife center nearby, but the vets didn’t manage to save the leopard.
Officials said it was not yet clear how and why the leopard entered the city, but a report by Fars News Agency said it belonged to a citizen.
Since 2016, Panthera pardus tulliana -- which is a leopard subspecies native to the Iranian Plateau and surrounding areas -- has been listed as endangered, as the wild population is estimated to be less than 1,000 mature individuals, with most of them living in Iran.