Gandhinagar: A nine-year-old Asiatic lion drowned after falling into Jamni river in Amreli district, an official said.
“The incident occurred on May 4 (Wednesday) in Dhari forest range area when the nine-year-old male lion slipped into the river from a 35 feet-high hilltop,” Amreli’s acting District Forest Officer C P Ranpariya told PTI.
The incident came to light when patrolling staff of the Forest Department saw the big cat’s carcass floating in the river and fished it out, he said.
Injuries found on the posterior side of the body indicate that a crocodile fed on it, he said, but ruled out any fight between the two.
A post-mortem conducted on the spot confirmed that the lion died of drowning, he said, adding, the lion may have fallen into the river about three days ago.
Asiatic lions are an endangered species and their only wild population in the world is surviving in Gir forests and adjoining areas in Saurashtra region of Gujarat, the official said.
The Lion Census of 2015 had pegged the number of the top predator at 523, he said, and added that 197 Asiatic lions inhabit the Dhari range.