Man saved from leopard attack by wife (Wiki Commons)

A woman in her 70s fought off a leopard that was attacking her husband in the Surat district in India.

Kiruben Gamit saved her husband Rupji, 75, by throwing stones, soil and sticks at the predator that was mauling him to death.

According to the Times of India, Rupji had gone to cut sugarcane on a farm near the Afva village with his wife and a number of labourers.

However, while cutting the cane, Rupji spotted a leopard and her cubs hiding in the plantation. Before he could react, the animal attacked him.

He tried to fend off the animal by punching it but the leopard was too powerful, the report said.

Rupji suffered severe injuries to his back, thigh and hand and would have been killed had his wife not intervened.

As the leopard tried to drag her husband into the undergrowth, Kiruben began throwing stones, soil and sticks at the animal while making loud noises.

Leopard turned on Kiruben

She managed to divert the animal's attention long enough for Rupji to escape its deadly jaws.

However, the leopard then turned on Kiruben but by continuing her own attack, the animal eventually ran off with her cubs.

She said: "The labourers kept shouting from a distance. Anyone can get scared by a leopard. But for me it was the life of my husband that was at stake. I stopped there to save him."

Rupji was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

Anil Vasava, deputy conservator of forest wildlife in Surat, said officials have put a cage in the plantation in order to catch the leopard and warnings have been issued about its presence.

There have been a number of leopard attacks in India in recent weeks. On 22 March, Three tea garden workers suffered serious injuries in an attack in the Golaghat district while they were plucking tea leaves.

The following day, five people were injured in a leopard attack in the Dibrugarh district. A group of villagers and forest officials were trying to locate a leopard that had killed a cow and injured another person.