A representative image of the captured leopard.Reuters

The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has captured a leopard which killed a four-year-old boy and attacked several others in the past few weeks in Valparai, a hill station surrounded by tea estates.

According to Manorama, the leopard was caught in a cage fixed near the house of the boy who was killed on February 7. Three cages were kept with meat as a bait and the villagers found the trapped animal on Tuesday.

The forest department officers later sedated the leopard and shifted him to another cage.

The leopard had attacked Seythul on February 7 while he was standing near his house. His mother had gone inside the house after giving a bath to the child. The leopard killed the child and fled with the body.

The villagers found Seythul's body at around 8.30 pm but had failed to trace the animal.

The cages were set by the forest department following protests by villagers. Seythul's parents Ashraf Ali and Sabia are migrant workers from Jharkhand and work as labourers at a tea estate.

According to the Times of India, attacks by leopards have increased in the Valparai region in the past few years. Forests officers have even given notices to Valparai residents against roaming outside their houses after evening. They have also given instructions against children playing outside the house in the evenings as they can be easier targets.

onmanorama/ manoramaonline.com; manoramanews