In an unusual story out of India, a young lioness who attacked  five people in the Kachivada area of Amreli died over the weekend from suspected rabies, according to a Times of India report Thursday.

Lioness/Trisha M Shears
Lioness/Trisha M Shears

The 2-year-old cat is believed to have strayed away from the pride and inadvertently entered the village attacking people randomly. The animal was rescued and taken to the Sasan rescue centre for treatment where it was observed to be demonstrating unusual behavior.

The TOI reports that former additional chief conservator of forest and member of National Board of Wildlife H S Singh said that it could have eaten a rabid dog as a result of which it might have got rabies. Usually such incidents are rare and occur once in a while, he said.

The exact cause of death of the lioness has not been ascertained.

According to the World Health Organization, Rabies is a zoonotic disease (a disease that is transmitted to humans from animals) that is caused by a virus. The disease affects domestic and wild animals, and is spread to people through close contact with infectious material, usually saliva, via bites or scratches.

Rabies is present on all continents with the exception of Antartica, but more than 95% of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa. Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is nearly always fatal.  More than 69,000 people die of rabies every year mostly in Asia and Africa. For more infectious disease news and information,visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Related: Rabies in India: Pune reports 21st human rabies death of 2014