A 50-year-old woman in India was mauled to death by a leopard less than a week after a leopard attacked and killed a girl in the same area.
Gajra Pancheshwar, accompanied by other women, was cutting paddy in a field in the Ugli area of Seoni district when the leopard attacked, B.C. Meshram, the manager of the Seoni Forest Development Corporation said, according to The Hindu.
The other women fled the scene while the ferocious feline mauled Pancheshwar to death. The incident occurred on Tuesday in the area surrounding the Senoi forests of Madhya Pradesh, which served as a setting for Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book" series.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) S.K.S. Tiwari said that since the incident, the forest department has set up four cages in the area in the hopes of catching the feline. The forest department provided immediate financial assistance of approximately $133 to the victim's family.
Less than a week ago, a 16-year-old girl was attacked and killed by a leopard in the Pandiwada area of Seoni district when she and her father entered the forest to graze their cattle. The horrified father tried to rescue the girl by hitting the big cat with sticks, but the leopard attacked him too. Locals rushed to the area and the leopard fled, leaving the girl's lifeless body behind, NDTV reported.
According to the forest officials, the same leopard attacked the cattle in Ugli. Authorities have asked the forest department to declare the leopard as a man-eater. Another 50-year-old woman was also mauled to death in another part of the Seoni forest on Sept. 15.
The forest department urged villagers to stay away from areas where leopard attacks have occurred. They have been asked to remain alert until the predator is caught. According to a report by Hindustan Times, the leopard population in India rose by 60 percent since 2014. Madhya Pradesh topped the list of leopard population in 2020 with 3,421 big cats living in the state.