Thursday, 11 August 2022 – A 4-year-old girl died after she was attacked by a leopard inside a private tea estate at Arakadu near in Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu, India.

According to local media, the girl identified as Saritha, daughter of migrant workers from Assam, was attacked on Wednesday afternoon, August 10, 2022, when she went to relieve herself along with two friends close to their house. The other children escaped unhurt.

Hearing her screams, Saritha’s mother rushed to her rescue and found the girl unconscious due to excessive bleeding.

Sources said the big cat attacked her in the neck and marks of one of the canine teeth was found on the neck.

She was rushed to the Ooty Government Medical College Hospital. However, she died after not responding to treatment.

Forest department staff are monitoring the area to prevent escalation of human animal conflict.

Nilgiris District Forest Officer (DFO) Bhosale Sachin Tukaram told the media that the leopard had come from Mynala, located two kilometres away.

“Our staff have lifted pug marks. Though locals say that they are noticing the big cat for the first time, a good number of leopards is found in the nearby forest. This is the first human leopard conflict in Arakadu. Our investigation reveals that the leopard could not be a man eater since only canine teeth mark was found on the girl’s body and flesh was intact,” he said.

Officials have fixed ten cameras to monitor animal movement in Arakadu and advised people to avoid walking near the bushes. 

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