A 64-year-old woman from the south Indian state of Kerala was mauled by a group of stray dogs while visiting the beach in her coastal village of Pulluvila. According to witnesses, the woman, Siluvamma, who was walking on the beach, was suddenly surrounded by close to 50 dogs that attacked her.
Her son Selvaraj attempted to rescue her and drive away the strays but was unable to after some of the dogs took chase after him. "I could see more dogs running in to join the pack," Selvaraj told reporters.
After more people joined in, they were able to drive the dogs away but by then the woman had already been bitten numerous times and residents claim parts of her arms and legs had been bitten off. The senior woman was rushed to a local hospital but died on the way.
"We have lost all our patience as the authorities are hanging on to some obscure law which says dogs cannot be eliminated. Are we inferior to these dogs," one member of a group of angry residents told NDTV.
Less than an hour after the incident, another 50-year-old woman was also attacked at another spot along the seafront.
Residents of the villages use the beach as a toilet and have noticed a rising number of dogs in the area which feed on raw meat that is disposed off there. Kerala has a high population of feral dogs and has taken drastic measures to reduce it. At least 100,000 people in the state have been bitten by strays.
In 2015, the state government allowed for the mass slaughter of stray dogs, leading to the culling of close to 50,000 of the animals. Despite international outrage, the government had refused to ban the practice.