Lion commands authority till last breath

Vadodara: In a rare show of authority during its last moments of life, the Asiatic lion, who died of pneumonia in Gir national park two days ago, did not let any other carnivore occupy its territory, till its last breath.

The lion aged about 13 years was so strong and commanding that it resisted any move by other lions to encroach upon its territory in Dedakari range of Gir forest , Dr Sandeep Kumar, Deputy conservator of forest wildlife division Sasan-Gir, told PTI.

"Two new male lions trying to capture territory of the old lion were sitting at a distance of around 50-60 meter from it," Kumar said, adding that the two did not dare to go near the lion breathing its last, which was a rare sight.

The post-mortem report said the lion died of suppurative pneumonia, Kumar said. As per lion census conducted in April 2010, there are 411 Asiatic lions in Gir national park, spread over more than 1,412 sq km area in Junagadh district.