A caged leopard was burnt alive by irate villagers in Indian’s western state of Gujarat, hours after it mauled to death an eight year old girl, officials said late Friday.

The girl Nikita Vasava was attacked by the wild cat on Wednesday while she had ventured out of her home in Vadigam village of Surat district, about 280 km south of Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat.

Though the leopard was trapped by wildlife officials and subsequently caged, however, the angry villagers set the cat on fire to avenge the girl’s killing.

Reports said the mob chased away wildlife officials and sprinkled petrol on the cage before torching the leopard alive.

The authorities have registered a case and initiated investigations into the incident.

Earlier this year, wildlife officials in Indian city of Bengaluru captured a leopard from a school after it mauled six people.

Wildlife officials say leopards stray into residential areas usually in search of food. However, the human presence makes them insecure, following which they resort to attacking people. At times these creatures are attacked by scared villagers in retaliation which also proves fatal for them.

There are strict laws in force in India against the killing of wild animals.

Wildlife expert say mass urbanization, denudation of forests, encroachment of forestland, vanishing of buffer zones in the forests and extraction of medicinal plants are some of the reasons responsible for increasing conflict between humans and animals.

Every year many people get killed or injured in the growing man-animal conflict across India.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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