A pet dog was praised for its bravery after it saved its owner from a leopard. The incident took place in Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal on Wednesday.

Aruna Lama rushed to the storeroom of her home after hearing some noise. As soon as she opened the storeroom door, she saw a leopard staring at her before it leaped and attacked her. Lama started screaming in pain after the big cat clawed her face. She tried to free herself from the animal’s clutches but was severely injured by then. However, when the woman thought nothing could save her from the leopard, her pet dog, named Tiger, rushed to the scene after sensing danger.

The canine first barked ferociously at the leopard before diving on it and attacking it. The leopard immediately fled from the scene and Tiger chased it into the woods.

Speaking to local media, Lama’s daughter said, "My mother and I were sipping tea at the home when we heard some noise from the storeroom under the kitchen. Since we keep live chicken in the storeroom she decided to go there and check for herself. When she opened the door she stood transfixed for a few seconds before screaming out. At the same time a dark figure pounced on her.”

The woman was rushed to the hospital where she received 20 stitches. Lama said Tiger “repaid the debt” with the act of bravery. Lama said she found Tiger in 2017 when he was skinny and was almost dying of hunger.

“We took a liking to each other and the bond grew over the past two years. Had we not met, I would not have lived to tell the tale. We used to feed him daily but also tried to send him away back to his original owners. But he always came back after a while. We then took him in and Tiger became a family member,” she said from the hospital bed.

Meanwhile, officials with the forest department were looking for the leopard which was still at large.

A male leopard is seen in a zoo in Maubeuge, France, Aug. 12, 2014. Reuters/Yves Herman