A huge crocodile attacked and ate a 4-year-old girl alive while she was near a canal in Pakistan with her mother.

The horrific incident took place Saturday in the city of Sukkur. According to local media reports, the child was washing clothes with her mother on the bank of Nara Canal when the crocodile pounced on her and dragged her into the water. The girl's mother saw her daughter being eaten alive by the reptile, Daily Pakistan reported.

When the crocodile came out of the water, the mother escaped to save her life. The reptile mauled the child and disappeared. People living nearby said the crocodile was 16-foot-long. The victim has been identified as Saeeda Mahar.

Local divers conducted a search for the girl for hours in the crocodile-infested canal, but did not succeed until late Saturday evening.

Residents of the nearby localities said there have been several instances of crocodiles attacking animals grazing on the Nara Canal embankments. Despite complaints, the district administration and the wildlife department turned a blind eye to the issue, the Nation reported.

The child's family was devastated following the tragic incident.

The Nara Canal – the longest canal in Pakistan, running for about 226 miles – is built on the left bank of the Indus River in Sindh. The largest population of the endangered Mugger crocodile in the country is found here. More than 300 crocodiles of different species can be found in the Nara Canal.

Last year in August, an 8-year-old girl was attacked and eaten alive by a gigantic crocodile on a side of Nara Canal in Sukkur. The girl was standing on an end of the canal when the crocodile suddenly pounced on her. People present at the scene saw the crocodile gripping her into its strong jaws and swallowing the girl alive, according to ARY News. “We called rescue officials and the police but they reached the site six hours after the incident, the rescue team hasn’t been able to find her body yet," the child's father said at the time.

Representational photo Getty Images/ Jay Directo