A 2-year-old girl in India had a miraculous escape from the jaws of a leopard after her grandparents managed to fight off the animal.

The child's right foot was already in the big cat's mouth when the elderly couple bravely took on the animal. The incident happened Thursday midnight in the state of Madhya Pradesh in a village close to Kuno National Park, The Times Of India reported.

The family was sleeping on the floor of their house when the leopard sneaked into the backyard. Basanti Gurjar, 50, was asleep with her granddaughter Bobby and husband Jai Gurjar, 55, when she awoke to the cries of the child. To her shock, she saw the toddler’s right foot in the jaws of the leopard.

She immediately kicked the animal multiple times, but it refused to let go of the child. By then, Jai had woken up and launched himself at the animal. "I kicked it with all my strength," he told The Times Of India.

Both held on to their granddaughter, as they began attacking the animal on its eyes and nose. The big cat then let go of the child and turned toward the couple. It hurled itself on the elderly man and woman, biting and slashing them.

Soon, the neighbors woke up on hearing the commotion. On realizing it was a leopard attack, they rushed to the family's rescue, armed with sticks, Yahoo Life reported. The couple managed to fend off the animal despite getting injured severely till the neighbors came to their aid. By then, the animal had fled back to the forest.

The attack has left the family jittered. "We have lived here for a long time, and this is the first time that a leopard attacked us," the couple was quoted by the news outlet.

On hearing the news, the Forest Department officials visited the site, and a senior officer promised the agency would cover their medical expenses and add more security in the area.

According to the report, the village where the family lives is just 8 km from Kuno National Park, a proposed site for the cheetah translocation project. The local people have been vehemently opposing the project, as they fear man-animal conflict. However, the forest officials had maintained there was no chance for an attack.

Representation. A leopard. Pixabay