Third cheetah dies in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park
Daksha may have been injured by male cheetahs during a mating attempt, the forest ministry said.
A third cheetah that was translocated to India from Africa died on Tuesday in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park, NDTV reported.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that Daksha was found injured by a monitoring team in the morning but died around 12 pm during treatment.
The first cheetah, Sasha, had died in the national park on March 27. The second feline, Uday, died on April 24. They were among the 20 cheetahs brought from Namibia and South Africa to India.
The cheetahs were reintroduced to India seven decades after the species was declared extinct in the country. The cheetah was officially declared extinct by the Indian government in 1952. The wild cats were last recorded in the country in 1948, when three cheetahs were shot in the Sal forests in Chhattisgarh’s Koriya District.
On Tuesday, the forest ministry said that Daksha may have been injured by male cheetahs during a mating attempt.
“Such violent behaviours by male coalition cheetahs towards female cheetahs during mating are common,” it said. “In such a situation, the chances of intervention by the monitoring team are almost non-existent and practically impossible.”
In February, 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 that the project may not fulfil its aim of grassland conservation.