A leopard in India reportedly attacked and killed an 8-year-old girl after dragging her into a forest.

The incident took place Sunday in the northern state of Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district. Local officials launched a search for the girl and found her body behind a bush near her home, NDTV reported. The victim has been identified as Karishma Vishwakarma.

The forest officials had installed a trap to catch the leopard responsible for the death of the child.

“We had installed a cage at a 100 meter distance from the place, where the body of the girl was found on Sunday. When the leopard came to eat the kill, he got trapped in the cage,” Vinay Bhargava, divisional forest officer said, the Hindustan Times reported.

Bhargava said the team from the forest department had put in every effort to cage the leopard after Pithoragarh district magistrate Ashish Chauhan ordered them to catch the animal without harming it. 

According to local media, leopards have been creating terror in many parts of Uttarakhand, raising concerns over the man-animal conflict.

“Big cats, mostly leopards, find good hideouts near residential areas due to abundant growth of bushes. Their movements are more frequent from July to October,” Tanuja Parihar, ranger, Bhakhra range of forest told the Hindustan Times recently.

In a similar incident, the mutilated remains of a 3-month-old baby was found in a forest in the state of Gujarat over the weekend. The body was found a day after a leopard dragged the child away, while his mother was doing household chores, local media reported. “The leopard may have entered the house to look for other animals that are kept inside the houses in this area. The child was on a cot near the place where the animals were kept and the leopard may have taken it away,” deputy conservator of forests R.M. Parmar was quoted as saying at the time. In this case too, forest officials set up a cage to trap the leopard. However, as of Tuesday, the animal had not been caught despite a bait being placed inside the cage.

leopard Representational image. Photo: Pixabay