A toddler in India was attacked by a leopard who dragged her away while she was playing at her house. The 16-month-old child suffered serious injuries in the attack and died, reports said.
The tragic incident happened in a forested area in the suburbs of Mumbai, a city in the western state of Maharashtra. The child, identified as Eitikha Akhilesh Lot, was playing in the courtyard of her house Monday when she was dragged away by a leopard, reports said.
“It was early morning, so not many people were awake. Only the child and her mother were outside. The leopard jumped out from the bushes, got hold of her, and ran away. The mother had her back turned to the child. She started shouting for help as soon as she realized what had happened, and everybody rushed out of their houses,” Eitikha’s grandfather, Manoj Lot, said, according to The Indian Express.
Neighbors who started searching for Eitikha found the injured child around 300 meters away from the house while the leopard that attacked her was still sitting next to her. The rescuers drove the leopard away and hospitalized the child, who suffered serious injuries on her neck and shoulders.
The child was reportedly alive when they located her but died soon after she was hospitalized.
The leopard was later spotted near Eitikha’s house after she was taken to the hospital, the family said.
Meanwhile, the officials said they have initiated efforts to capture the animal. “A total of 12 camera traps have been installed in the area to monitor leopard activity, and two cages have also been installed to trap the problem animal. We are urging the locals not to let their children out when it is dark,” an official told the news outlet.
In a similar incident earlier this month, a 19-year-old girl in India died after she was attacked by a leopard that dragged her into a sugarcane field near her house. The leopard pounced on the victim, identified as Puja Bhagwan Narawade, from Maharashtra, before dragging her away from her front yard. The teen who suffered serious injuries to her neck was found dead on a farm over 200 feet away from her home.