Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another lion dies in forest, disease spread suspected

Another lion dies in forest, disease spread suspected
Times of India

The death of another eight-year-old lion in Dhari forest range within a week, has raised suspicions about whether the big cats succumbed to some disease. On Tuesday, forest department found a lion's carcass near a village in Amreli district. This is the second lion found dead under mysterious circumstances. The first, a 10-year-old, was found dead on October 15 near Pipalva village in the same range, and officials had assumed old age as the reason for the death, but now they are not so sure.

In both cases, residents of villages on the periphery of Gir sanctuary informed forest officials. The claws and skeleton were intact, indicating they were not poached. The beast could have died of some disease but the exact cause will be known only after the post-mortem report is received, say officials. Usually, if an animal dies of a disease, a detailed analysis is carried out.

Former principal chief conservator of forest, GA Patel said that these were stray incidents and there was possibility that snake bite or viral infection could have caused the death. Formation of maggots in the body is cited as another reason for the death. Generally maggots are formed after an animal gets injured after infighting.

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