- Incident occured on May 4, the lion slipped from a 35-foot high hilltop
- Forest officials found the lion's carcass floating in the river
- The 2015 Lion Census pegged their population at 523
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.