A cheetah cub, born at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh two months back, died on Tuesday, the forest department said.The latest fatality took the death toll of cheetahs in KNP to four in the last two months, including three felines translocated from African countries.Prima facie, the cub died of weakness, a Forest department release said.
“The monitoring team found that one of the four cubs of feline ‘Jwala’ was lying at the spot where they were spotted earlier while three other cubs were roaming with their mother. The team alerted veterinarians who rushed to the spot and gave necessary treatment to the cub, but it died,” the release said. It seems the cub died because of weakness as it was weak since birth, said the release.
Cheetah Jwala, earlier known as Siyaya, was brought from Namibia to KNP in Sheopur district in September 2022. She gave birth to four cubs in the last week of March this year. Cheetahs were reintroduced in India, 70 years after the species was declared extinct.One of the Namibian cheetahs, Sasha, succumbed to a kidney-related ailment on March 27, while another cheetah, Uday, from South Africa, died on April 13. Daksha, a cheetah brought from South Africa, died of injuries following a violent interaction with a male during a mating attempt on May 9.Siyaya’s four cubs were born in the wild on Indian soil after the last cheetah was hunted in the Korea district of present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947.
This fastest land animal was declared extinct in the country in 1952.The relocation of cheetahs from Africa is part of an ambitious plan to revive their population in India. Eight Namibian cheetahs – five female and three male – were released into enclosures at the KNP on September 17 last year at an event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In February this year, 12 more cheetahs arrived at KNP from South Africa.Of the 24 cheetahs, including four cubs born in India, KNP now has 17 adults and three cubs. Some of them are yet to be released into the wild.