In a recent development at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, the radio collars of six cheetahs have been removed for a health examination. This decision comes after the unfortunate deaths of five adult cheetahs and three cubs at the park since March this year. The health examination was conducted by veterinarians from the Kuno National Park along with experts from Namibia and South Africa.
The Kuno National Park has been a focal point for the Project Cheetah initiative, which aims to reintroduce cheetahs into the wild in India. As part of this project, a total of 20 radio-collared cheetahs were imported from Namibia and South Africa to the park. Subsequently, four cubs were born to one of the Namibian cheetahs named ‘Jwala.’ However, out of the 24 felines, eight, including three cubs, have tragically passed away.
Radio Collars Removal and Health Examination
The radio collars of the six cheetahs were taken off for a thorough health examination. The cheetahs in question are named Gourav, Shourya, Pavan, Pavak, Asha, and Dheera. Forest officials, along with the experts from Namibia and South Africa, conducted the examination. As per the official statement, the condition of all these cheetahs is reported to be healthy.
Concerns and Steps Ahead
The recent deaths of eight cheetahs in the Kuno National Park have raised concerns and sparked discussions about the future of the Project Cheetah initiative. The environment ministry has stated that the deaths were due to natural causes, dismissing media reports attributing them to factors like radio collars without scientific evidence.
To support the cheetah project and address the challenges, several measures have been planned. Among them, the establishment of a Cheetah Research Center with facilities for rescue, rehabilitation, capacity building, and interpretation is being considered.
Supreme Court’s Intervention
The Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the situation and expressed concerns over the death of eight cheetahs within a year at the Kuno National Park. The Court has urged the Centre not to make the matter a prestige issue and explore the possibility of relocating the cheetahs to different sanctuaries to ensure their well-being.
As the health examination of the cheetahs in Kuno National Park continues, there is a growing need to address the challenges and concerns surrounding the Project Cheetah initiative. The efforts of veterinarians and experts from Namibia and South Africa are critical in ensuring the well-being and conservation of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
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