A four-year-old girl was mauled to death on Tuesday by a leopard near Juna village in Gir Somnath district, police said.
Prabha Parmar and her family members were asleep when the leopard entered their hut at around 3 am and dragged away the child to a nearby millet field. Prabha’s elder sister raised alarm and even her father chased the animal, but it disappeared in the millet field.
The child’s partially-eaten boyd was later found by local forest officers, even as the leopard remained untraceable.
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“Forest officials have concluded that the girl was indeed attacked by a leopard. Her body bore injuries caused by canine teeth and claws of the animal. The leopard also ate away parts of the body,” Gir Gadhda ASI Ramesh Vyas said.
Meanwhile, forest officers placed three cages in the evening to trap the leopard. “We located the leopard during the search for the girl, but it vanished immediately. We have placed three trap cages in the field from where the body of the child was recovered,” range forest officer of Jasadhar Jayantilal Pandya said.
Jasadhar is part of Gir east forest division which constitutes lion territory in Saurashtra region.