A crocodile attacked and killed a 15-year-old boy while he was bathing his buffalo in a river. The incident comes just days after a man was mauled to death by a crocodile in a nearby area.

Police fished out the half-eaten body of the teenager from the Khakhra river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Friday. He was identified as Om Prakash. Authorities said Prakash was bathing his buffalo when the crocodile dragged the teenager into the water. It remains unclear when the boy went missing.

"After discussing with the district magistrate, we have decided to identify the areas near human habitat where there is a presence of crocodiles and will put up signboards there to keep people away. Forest department will also launch an awareness campaign to prevent such incidents," Kirit Kumar Rathod, a senior police officer, told the Times of India.

The latest incident follows a similar incident reported off 40 miles north in the Dundwa Range. A farmer, identified as 52-year-old Jameel, was drinking water from a river when he was dragged away by a crocodile. The man was grazing his buffalo near Dudhwa forest at the time. After a three-hour-long search operation, Jameel's partially-eaten body was recovered more than half a mile away from where he had been attacked by the crocodile.

India is home to three crocodilian species – the mugger or marsh crocodile, the estuarine or saltwater crocodile and the gharial. The estuarine crocodile is infamous as a maneater and the mugger is also known to be dangerous. The gharial is relatively harmless and is a fish-eating species. It is not known which crocodile species was responsible for the recent attacks.

CrocBITE, a global database of crocodile attacks that was started by Australian crocodile researcher Adam Britton, says most crocodile attacks are not predatory in nature.

"We consider that crocodilian attacks on humans are largely preventable; the main cause of attack is a lack of awareness by the victim of the danger they put themselves in. After all, it's safe to assume that nobody ever intends to be attacked by a crocodilian. This is why education and awareness are critical," the CrocBITE website says.

Representational photo Getty Images/ Jay Directo