Bhopal. Six cheetahs brought from South Africa and Namibia have died in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park in the last two months. These include three young cheetahs and three cubs. After this, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India has constituted the ‘Cheetah Project Steering Committee’. Now any decision related to cheetahs will be taken only with the consent of the members of this committee.
Two cubs of female cheetah Jwala brought from Namibia in Kuno National Park died on Thursday. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) JS Chauhan told that the female cheetah Jwala had given birth to four cubs in Kuno National Park two months ago on March 27. One of these cubs had died on Tuesday (May 23). After this, the remaining 03 cubs and female cheetah “Jwala” were continuously monitored throughout the day by the wildlife doctors and monitoring team posted at Palpur. Cheetah Jwala was given supplemental food during the day. During afternoon monitoring, the condition of the remaining 03 cubs was not found normal.
He told that in view of the unusual condition and heat of the three cubs, the team of management and wildlife doctors immediately rescued all the three cubs and treated them, but the condition of two cubs could not be saved from getting worse. A cub is being treated in critical condition at Palpur hospital under intensive care and monitoring. The female cheetah Jwala is healthy, which is being continuously monitored.
He told that the female cheetah “Jwala” is a hand reared cheetah who has become a mother for the first time. Cheetah cubs are about 8 weeks old. Cheetah cubs at this stage are usually inquisitive and walk continuously with the mother. Cheetah cubs start moving with their mother around 8-10 days ago. According to cheetah experts, the survival rate of cheetah cubs in Africa is generally very low. The post-mortem proceedings are being carried out as per the standard protocol.
Six leopards have died in Kuno National Park in two months. The first of these was the death of Sasha, a female cheetah brought from Namibia on 26 March. After this, Cheetah Uday, who was brought from South Africa, died on 23 April. Then on May 9, the female cheetah Daksha brought from South Africa had died. Now within a week, three cubs of female cheetah Jwala also died.
It has been told that now the Cheetah Project Steering Committee has been constituted. The committee includes former member secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), former director of Kanha Tiger Reserve and general secretary of Global Tiger Forum, Dr. Rajesh Gopal, former director of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, PR Sinha, former Additional Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr. HS Negi. Including 11 wildlife experts of the country have been made members.
The term of the steering committee will be two years. Cheetah experts from South Africa and Namibia have also been invited as members. The work of the committee will be to review and monitor the Cheetah project and give advice. She will take a decision on opening Kuno Park to tourists for cheetah tourism and increasing community participation in the project.
The committee members will visit Kuno Park as and when required and hold at least one meeting in a month. If necessary, the committee will also be able to call domestic and international cheetah experts for consultation. The NCTA will make arrangements for their travel, while the travel and other incidental expenses of the non-official members will also be borne.
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