Cheetah brought from Namibia dies in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park
Five-year-old Sasha was suffering from a kidney infection.
A female cheetah brought to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh from Namibia in September died due to renal infection on Monday, the state’s Forest Department said in a statement.
Sasha was one of the eight cheetahs that were reintroduced in India last year, seven decades after the species was declared extinct in the country.
During a monitoring survey on March 22, it was found that Sasha was lethargic, the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department said in a press note. The three veterinary doctors looking after the health of the cheetahs found that Sasha required medical treatment. Blood tests conducted on Sasha showed that she was suffering from a kidney infection.
The five-year-old cheetah had contracted the infection while in captivity in Namibia, and had been ailing since last year, the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department said.
“This is what happens with cheetahs, that is why we say they are delicate creatures,” said Susan Yannetti, a spokesperson of the Namibia-based not-for-profit organisation Cheetah Conservation Fund, reported the Hindustan Times. “They are prone to renal disease. The autopsy will reveal the real cause of death.”
Yannetti’s organisation is part of the project to relocate the cheetahs in India from Namibia.
While releasing the eight cheetahs in the Kuno National Park, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that India has a chance to restore an element of biodiversity that had been lost long ago. However, experts say that India does not have the habitat or prey species for African cheetahs, and the project may not fulfil its aim of grassland conservation.