Leopards have been a problem for people in some rural areas. Photo: iStock

A five-year-old girl in India was killed last Sunday when a leopard attacked her while she was helping her grandmother in the fields.

At about 5 pm on March 24, Shrutika Thite was with her grandmother Kusum Kaduskar when she went to harvest maize for fodder at a field near Sakori village in Pune, Maharashtra, the Times of India reported.

A leopard hiding nearby attacked the girl and the big cat grabbed her by the neck and started dragging her away before villagers nearby threw stones at it. The leopard left the girl behind and escaped.

Shrutika was taken to a hospital in the Manchar area, where the doctors declared her dead on arrival. Vinod Modhave, the village chief, said leopards were often seen around the village. They have killed calves and dogs.

The forest department will be compensating the family with 1.5 million Rupees (US$21,777), with a cheque of 300,000 Rupees already handed to them. Forest officers will put out more cages to capture the leopards, as well as increase the number of patrols in the area.

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