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Tragic Loss: Death Toll of Cheetahs in Kuno National Park Reaches Nine

  • Posted on August 2, 2023
  • News
  • By Ishna
Kuno National Park

In a heart-wrenching setback to India's ambitious cheetah conservation project, a female cheetah translocated from Namibia was found dead on Wednesday in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP). This tragic incident takes the death toll of cheetahs at KNP to nine, including three cubs born within the country.

The forest official, who preferred to remain anonymous, disclosed that the suspected cause of death was "septicemia due to skin abrasion." However, the exact cause will be confirmed after the post-mortem examination. The recent deaths of two cheetahs, Tejas and Suraj, due to infection and the discovery of three other cheetahs with infected radio collars have raised questions about monitoring these majestic animals in the Sheopur district.

Death Toll of Cheetahs in Kuno National Park Reaches Nine
Another devastating blow to India's cheetah conservation efforts as a female cheetah from Namibia is found dead in Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh.

MP Chief Wildlife Warden, Aseem Shrivastava, stated that Dhatri (Tiblisi), one of the two female cheetahs roaming the wild, was found dead, prompting a thorough post-mortem to determine the cause of her demise. The remaining 14 cheetahs, including a cub, are currently kept in bomas at KNP and are reported to be in good health, with regular monitoring by a team of wildlife veterinarians and experts from Namibia

Nirva, another female cheetah, is lost, presumably due to a malfunctioning radio collar. Efforts, including using elephants, are underway to locate her and ensure her safety.

In response to concerns raised in the Rajya Sabha, the Union environment ministry denied any lapses in monitoring. It attributed the cheetahs' deaths to natural causes, asserting that the reports of infection from radio collars lacked scientific evidence.

The death toll of cheetahs in the park rises to nine, raising concerns over their monitoring and habitat expansion.

This tragic development has drawn attention to the need for expanding the cheetahs' habitat in other states, a matter previously highlighted by the Supreme Court in May. However, the loss of nine cheetahs, including three born within India, in the past four months due to various ailments has intensified the urgency of addressing the challenges faced by the endangered species.

The incident has further heightened the importance of enhancing monitoring measures and ensuring the cheetahs' well-being while pursuing conservation efforts to protect these magnificent creatures from extinction.

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