Let us see the Ishtar image once again.
She is standing on lions. There are owls on her sides.
In Hindu depictions, the female (mother) Goddess can be seen standing or sitting on tiger or lion or crocodile. She can be seen standing on corpse, buffalo or bull's head after killing that. The symbolism that is conveyed by all these is that the mother springs up into action when her children are threatened by any of the above mentioned entities. There is an olden saying in Tamil texts that the woman of the Tamil sangam times was so brave that she used to chase away the tiger by the grain- pad (called as 'MuRAm' in Tamil) she uses for cleaning grains. (This is how this pad looks! This is in use in Indian households even today.)