Failed Project? Yet Another Namibian Cheetah Dies In India
BHOPAL, (IANS) – Yet another Namibian cheetah was reported dead at Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh on January 16, the tenth fatality since the project was introduced in 2022.
The cheetah that died has been identified as Shaurya. According to forest officials at KNP, Shaurya was spotted lying in an unconscious state in the afternoon on January 16.
A total of 20 cheetahs were transported from Namibia and South Africa in two phases of them 10, including three cubs born at Kuno, have died so far.
The cheetahs were brought from Namibia and South Africa as part of a project aimed at reintroducing the big cats, which were extinct in India for several decades.
In the second batch, 12 cheetahs were brought from South Africa.
The fatalities have raised concerns and even reached the Supreme Court, which, in the previous year, expressed no reason to question the central government’s cheetah reintroduction efforts.
The death of Shaurya came two weeks after the Namibian cheetah ‘Aasha’ gave birth to three cubs, giving hopes of the success of the ambitious ‘Project Cheetah’.
Before that, another Namibian cheetah Siyaya had given birth to four cubs, of which three died and one cub survived.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken keen interest in the relocation and himself introduced the cheetahs into KNP.
Infections caused by insects during the monsoon season were cited by the government as the primary cause for the earlier deaths. The current death is still being studied.