A 19-year-old girl in India died after a leopard attacked and dragged her into a sugarcane field near her house.
The incident took place Wednesday in the western state of Maharashtra, the local police and forest officials confirmed to the media.
According to reports, the victim, identified as Puja Bhagwan Narawade, was in her front yard when the leopard pounced on her from behind.
The girl was alone at home when the incident took place. The leopard reportedly dragged her for over 200 feet into the farm before leaving her there and disappearing into the jungle, Punekar News reported.
The animal “dragged her into the sugarcane cultivation in the neighboring plot. Some neighbors, who raised alarm, and ran to her rescue, found her in the sugarcane field with grievous injuries on the neck,” police officer Sureshkumar Raut told the Indian Express.
Deputy Conservator of Forest (Junnar Division) Amol Satpute said, “After receiving information about the leopard attack, a team was sent to the area. Patrolling in the area is being stepped up and cage traps will be installed for the leopard. We are assessing the situation and all possible measures are being taken.”
An autopsy will be conducted to help with the ongoing investigation, the police said.
This is the second fatal leopard attack in the area over the last two months, local media reports said. Authorities have stepped up patrolling and installed cage traps in the area.
Last month in the southern state of Karnataka, a leopard attacked and killed a 65-year-old man, following which it consumed parts of the victim’s body. This was the first instance of a leopard eating a man in the state, the forest officials said at the time.
“We don’t know what made the leopard eat the man’s flesh. Incidents of leopards attacking humans is not new, but eating human flesh is,” Deputy Conservator of Forests, CWS, Nandeesh L. The man was reportedly grazing cattle when the leopard attacked him and the other animals. A search was launched for the victim when he did not return at night after going out in the morning. The following day, his mutilated body was found.