AN ASIATIC lion died after being bitten by a venomous snake in Jasadhar range of Gir (East) wildlife division in Amreli district on Friday night, forest officers said.
The lion, believed to 13 to 15 years of age, was found dead at Savajiyu Neru forest area in Tulsishyam round of Jasadhar range by a team of forest staff out on routine patrolling duty on Saturday morning.
Forest officers said that the carcass of the lion was taken to the animal care centre in Jasadhar for a postmortem.
“Veterinarians observed marks of snakebites on nose of the lion. Further autopsy procedure revealed that the animal had died due to internal bleeding. This established that the lion died due to snake-bite,” Dushyant Vasavada, Chief Conservator of Forests of Junagadh wildlife circle told The Indian Express.
According to forest officers, snakes of viper wiper family, which spew haemotoxic venom, could have bitten the lion. Russell’s viper, saw-scaled viper are snakes of this family found in Gujarat and their venom, once it enters blood stream of a victim, can cause hamorrhage and can even lead to death.