Feb 20, 2014
The animal attacked the boy on Monday evening while he was going to the toilet in the courtyard of his home in Mendrapara village in Chhattisgarh state, senior district police officer Vijay Pandey said.
His family raised the alarm after seeing the animal drag the boy away, sparking a search by villagers who discovered the body, Pandey said.
He said the same beast killed a 10-year-old boy in December near Ram Tekri village in the same area, and was also believed to have attacked livestock.
"The forest department has already launched a massive hunt to capture the leopard," he said.
The area where the attacks occurred is close to the Achanakmar Tiger Reserve, which is home to about 12 tigers as well as leopards.
About one-third of Chhattisgarh is forested, but destruction of native habitat and encroaching villages result in increased contact between wild animals and humans.
India's leopard population was put at 1150 in a 2011 census. But conservationists have warned it is at risk as a result of rampant poaching for leopard skins.