A 12-year-old boy in India tragically died after he was mauled by a leopard while he was walking back home.

The unidentified boy, from Aldi village in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, disappeared Sunday evening while returning home after playing with friends.

Based on a missing person's complaint from the boy's parents, forest department officials, along with police, conducted an intensive search in the area and discovered the boy's body Monday morning, Hindustan Times reported.

"The family members of the deceased boy called the police after he went missing, following which a joint team from revenue police, Ghansali police station, and the forest department rushed to the spot. After intensive combing, we recovered the half-eaten body of the deceased boy, 500 meters away from his house in the village lying in the bushes at around 2.30 a.m. on Monday," Pradeep Chauhan, a forest official, told the news outlet.

Police believe the leopard must have hidden behind the thick bushes and attacked the boy while he walked through the road, news outlet NDTV reported.

Forest officials initiated efforts to capture the leopard after sending the body for an autopsy. "Permission from the chief wildlife warden has been sought to trap the leopard," VK Singh, another forest official, told The Times of India.

Leopard attacks were frequent in the area and the 12-year-old's death was the third such case reported in the past week, according to reports.

In a similar incident last month, a toddler in India died after she was attacked by a leopard. The 16-month-old girl, who lived with her parents in a forested area in the suburbs of the Indian city of Mumbai, succumbed to injuries after the animal dragged her away while she was playing at her house. Neighbors found the injured child around 300 meters away from her home. The leopard was sitting next to her when the search team found the toddler.

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