Rama Krishna Sangem
Continued deaths of Cheetahs in Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh, have angered wildlife lovers across the country. Two more cubs, born a few weeks before, died on May 25, Thursday, while another cub is found in a critical condition, for lack of food and nutrition. Is it the way, India treats its Cheetahs? Screamed animal lovers on the social media on Thursday.. “Kuno park or No park for Cheetahs?” they asked.
In a major setback to the Project Cheetah, two more cubs died inside Kuno National Park in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. One of the four cubs born to Namibian Cheetah Jwala had died earlier on May 23, Tuesday.
These two cubs, born just two months ago, marks six fatalities among cheetahs translocated from African countries to Kuno within the past two months. There are doubts that the forest officials have not made enough arrangements for the survival and safety of these Cheetahs, even after knowing their vulnerability to new geographical conditions in India. The amount of pomp and hype that surrounded is is not shown in follow up action later.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the cause of death of these cubs is malnutrition. Monitoring team discovered cubs in a gasping condition at the location where they were previously sighted, while one cub was observed moving around with mother. The team promptly alerted veterinarians, who rushed to the scene to administer essential medical care to the ailing cub. The last remaining cub has been rescued and shifted to hospital for further treatment.
“Cubs were weak, underfed”
The forest department further stated that the cubs’ frailty (weak due to poor nutrition) was likely a contributing factor, as they had exhibited signs of weakness since its birth. Cheetah Jwala, formerly known as Siyaya, was brought to Kuno National Park from Namibia in September 2022.
She gave birth to four cubs during the last week of March this year, bringing hope and excitement to the conservation efforts at the park.
When Project Cheetah was announced almost a decade ago and preparation for bringing them from Africa to India were finalised a couple of years ago, doubts were expressed about ability and commitment of our forest officials to protect them. The six deaths of Cheetahs have definitely angered people, and the Government must step into prevent further Cheetah deaths.
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