A wild leopard scalped a man and bit and clawed three other people after it strayed into a city in northern India before it was trapped.

The animal got into a house and attacked residents in Guwahati, the local Telegraph paper reported. All four victims survived. The animal was tranquilised after two hours and taken to the state zoo.

"We were shocked and stunned to find the leopard inside the house. Soon, the cat started attacking," Nipu Das, who witnessed the attack, told the IANS news agency.

Traffic had to be diverted and panicked crowds fled the scene. Authorities said the leopard came from the jungle surrounding Guwahati.

Similar incidents have been reported in the northern states of Jammu, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in recent months.

Experts say that wild animals are encroaching on towns and cities more because of the extensive deforestation around Indian cities.