A leopard attacked and killed an 8-year-old girl in India while she was sleeping next to her parents on the terrace of their home on a farm.

The incident took place Sunday in the Amreli district in the western state of Gujarat, Press Trust of India reported. The victim's five siblings were sleeping next to her when the attack took place. The leopard reportedly climbed up to the terrace, which was around 10 feet high, and grabbed the girl by her neck before jumping down with the child.

"The father, alerted by his daughter’s cries, chased the carnivore and managed to force the animal abandon the girl around 80 metres away… but by then the girl had sustained fatal injuries," Kapil Bhatia, range of forest officer of Savarkundla in Gir (east) wildlife division told The Indian Express.

The girl was immediately rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“The girl died within a short time due to injuries in her trachea,” Bhatia said, adding, “The laborer family was aware of the threat of wild animals and hence they used to sleep on the terrace… The cottage does not have a staircase and the family used to go up using a ladder…”

Yuvrasinh Rathod, assistant sub-inspector of Savarkundla-Rural police station, said the leopard likely used a neem tree beside the cottage to "climb to the terrace."

The victim was identified as Payal Devka. Her father, Kamlesh Devka, is a migrant worker from Alirajpur district in Madhya Pradesh.

As per the 2016 census, there were 1,395 leopards in Gujarat. In March, the state government informed the Legislative Assembly that as many as 67 persons were killed in leopard attacks in the state in five years. In India, there are 12,852 leopards as of 2018, an increase of 60% since 2014.

There have been several leopard attacks in the country, some of which have been fatal. Last month in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, a 4-year child was attacked and killed by a leopard, authorities said. The child had been missing for seven days, following which his half-eaten body was recovered.

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