KATHMANDU - A wild animal thought to be a jackal dragged away and devoured a two-year-old girl in Nepal's southern plains, police said on Sunday, in a rare fatal attack targeting humans.
"Since there is a sugarcane plantation near the village, we suspect that the animal that killed the child could be jackal."
The Indian or Himalayan jackal, which is similar in appearance to a small wolf and can carry rabies, is abundant in Nepal's southern Terai plains and shelters in holes in dense brush on the outskirts of villages and farms.
It is primarily a scavenger which eats garbage and offal, although it is known to supplement its diet with rodents, reptiles, fruit and insects and does occasionally kill poultry, goats and lambs.
While jackals frequently bite villagers, fatal attacks are rare, although a jackal dragged a three-month-old from the backyard of her home in the same area in July, killing the baby and dumping her body in a paddy field.