The mutilated remains of a 3-month-old baby were found in a forest a day after the child was dragged away by a leopard in India.
The incident took place Thursday night in the state of Gujarat, local media said Saturday. Authorities said the child's mother was doing household chores, while the baby boy was on a cot inside the house, which did not have a door, media outlet The Times of India reported.
"The leopard may have entered the house to look for other animals that are kept inside the houses in this area. The child was on a cot near the place where the animals were kept and the leopard may have taken it away," deputy conservator of forests R.M. Parmar was quoted as saying by the outlet.
Local authorities said when the mother saw her baby was missing, she raised an alarm, following which family members and villagers launched a search for the child, Gujarati ABP Live reported.
The following day, some people found clothes and remains of the child in the forest. Officials were later informed about the incident.
No other recent incidents of leopard attacks on humans have been reported in the area, Parmar said, but a cage has now been put up in the village to trap the animal. Authorities said that a goat has been put inside the cage as bait.
Gujarat has a total population of 1,395 leopards as per the statewide census carried out five years ago.
Last month, in the neighboring state of Madhya Pradesh the half-eaten body of a 10-year-old boy was found in a forest after he was attacked and dragged away by a leopard. The boy had gone with his friends to graze cattle in a forest when the incident took place. The leopard was reportedly hiding in the bushes while the victim and his friends were roaming around. The animal then jumped on the boy and dragged him away. Locals arrived at the scene to save the child, but he was already partially eaten by the animal.