Bhopal: Two more cheetah cubs died due to “extreme weather conditions and dehydration” in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park on Thursday. In two days, three out of four cheetah cubs, who were born recently, have died, officials said.
In March, a female cheetah named ‘Jwala’ gave birth to four cheetah cubs in the national park. On Tuesday, a two-month-old cub died due to “immense weakness”, officials said.
On May 23, the temperature was recorded around 46-47 degree Celsius, making it the hottest day in the region. On Tuesday, a team discovered the cubs in a weak, dehydrated condition. The team alerted the veterinarians who administered essential medical care to the rescued cubs who were underweight, but two more cheetah cubs unfortunately died today, officials said.
The fourth cub was shifted to a hospital in Palpur, and officials are in touch with experts from Namibia and South Africa for further treatment, officials added.
Last week the Supreme Court also expressed concern over the death of three cheetahs in less than two months, the court had suggested the Cheetahs, who were translocated from South Africa and Namibia to Madhya Pradesh, should be moved to neighbouring Rajasthan.
“Three deaths in less than two months is a matter of serious concern. There are opinions of experts and articles in the media. It appears that Kuno is not sufficient for so many cheetahs,” the Supreme Court said.
“There is too much concentration of cheetahs in one place. Why don’t you look for a suitable place in Rajasthan? Merely because Rajasthan is ruled by an opposition party does not mean, you will not consider it,” the bench said.
On March 27, a female Cheetah named Sasha died due to kidney ailment, on April 23, Uday died due to cardio-pulmonary failure and on May 9, another female cheetah named Daksha, died following a violent interaction with a male during a mating attempt.
Experts have warned of higher mortalities in Kuno National Park and have suggested the authorities fence at least two or three cheetah habitats.
South African wildlife expert Vincent van der Merwe said, “The reintroduction project is going to see even higher mortalities in the next few months when cheetahs try to establish territories and come face to face with leopards and tigers in the Kuno National Park.”
“There has never been a successful reintroduction into an unfenced reserve in recorded history. It has been attempted 15 times in South Africa, and it failed every time,” the expert added.