Four-month-old baby girl is snatched from her family and mauled to death by a leopard in the latest big cat killing in India
- The tiny child was dragged away from sleeping family near Pune, Maharashtra
- Mutilated body was found by a stream under a mile from where she was taken
- Comes days after another man-eating lion snatched and killed a three-year-old girl from her mother’s lap in West Bengal
A four-month-old girl was snatched from her family and mauled to death by a leopard in the latest killing by one of the big cats in India.
The tiny child’s mutilated body was found by a stream under a mile from where she was taken in Yedgaon village near Pune in India’s Maharashtra state.
The young victim, identified as Kalyani Zete, was asleep in the open along with her shepherd family when she was dragged away by the predator in the early hours.
Villagers have set traps and launched night patrols as they step up the hunt for the creature, which struck on Wednesday.
It comes just days after another man-eating leopard snatched a three-year-old girl from her mother’s lap before ‘ripping her limbs and head off’ in West Bengal.
A four-month-old girl was snatched from her family and mauled to death by a leopard in the latest killing by one of the big cats in India (file picture)
Pranita Oraon and her mother Puja were in the courtyard of their home in the workers’ quarters of Garganda tea estate in Alipurduar district when the animal attacked last week.
The toddler’s body was found just under two miles away the following morning.
‘The head and all four limbs were torn off from the body,’ said a forest officer who asked to remain anonymous.
The leopard reportedly jumped a fence to enter the estate, where Puja works as a labourer, in what was the third killing of a child by leopards in the area in just five weeks.
Ms Oraon’s mother said that she tried to fight off the animal, the Times of India reported.
‘I tried my best. It was so large… I could not save her,’ she said.
‘She (Puja) was cooking in front of her house and the child was with her. As the leopard took away the kid, the mother ran after the animal and her shouting attracted other villagers,’ said Sibu Chhetri, a local school teacher told the Hindustan Times.
Last month two boys aged six and 12 were killed by leopards in separate incidents just a few days apart at tea gardens in Alipurduar.
An estimated 4,000 leopards roam the districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar, which is home to 283 tea gardens.