It was a battle that raged for nearly a half-hour. A 56-year-old Indian woman — armed with only farm tools — is now recovering in hospital after killing a leopard that attacked her.

Kamla Devi was fetching water in northern Uttarakhand state when the leopard pounced on her from nearby bushes. She fought back with a sickle and spade, receiving extensive injuries in the process, including two fractures to her right hand and one on the left. She also has deep injuries on her head and legs, along with bite marks all over her body.

The BBC reports:

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"I thought I was dead but I did not lose patience and courage," she told reporters after her lucky escape.

Ms Devi was carrying water from a canal to her field near the village of Sem Nauti in Rudraprayag district when she was attacked on Sunday.

She said she managed to smash some of the animal's teeth during the struggle.

"I fought head on with it for almost half an hour. Then I came to know it was dead," she told reporters from hospital in the nearby town of Srinagar Garhwal.

Doctors were surprised she had survived.

According to villagers, leopards are now more visible around human settlements as they increasingly lose their habitats.

Earlier this year, a tiger in India killed 10 people in six weeks.

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More at BBC.

Images: Reuters.