Namibian cheetah dies at Kuno park, 10th fatality since start of revival project

Since March 2023, seven adult cheetahs, brought from Namibia, and three cubs born in India have died.
Namibian cheetah dies at Kuno park, 10th fatality since start of revival project
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Another cheetah, which was brought from Namibia in September 2022, has died at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. With the death of Shaurya, seven adult cheetahs and three cubs born in India have died since March 2023.

In a statement, the director of the project overseeing the cheetah relocation said the cause of the death could only be ascertained after post-mortem.

"Around 11 am, incoordination and staggering gait was observed by the tracking team following which the animal was tranquilised and weakness was found. Following this, the animal was revived, but complications arose post revival and the animal failed to respond to CPR. Cause of death can be ascertained after post-mortem," the statement said.


A total of 20 animals were relocated from Namibia and South Africa to Kuno National Park in two batches under the government's Project Cheetah. The first batch came in September 2022 and the second in February 2023.

The project is India's ambitious attempt to re-introduce cheetahs in the wild in the country. Cheetahs became extinct in the country nearly seven decades ago.

In August 2023, a female cheetah 'Dhatri' was found dead in Kuno National Park. Four months back, in March, a Namibian cheetah named Sasha died due to kidney complications.

Another cheetah, Uday, died on April 13. A month later, a female cheetah named Daksha, brought from South Africa, died allegedly after a "violent interaction" with two male cheetahs during mating.

Three of the four cubs born to a female Namibian cheetah also died in the same month. On July 11 and 14, two male cheetahs, Tajas and Suraj, died due to multiple organ failure.


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Namibian cheetah dies at Kuno park, 10th fatality since start of revival project

The reason that generated much controversy was possible infection caused by radio collars. Experts have argued that these collars, which are used for tracking and monitoring animals, have led to skin infections. This, in turn, has led to maggot infestations and septicaemia, a type of blood infection. Later, an exercise was carried out to remove the radio collars.

Source: India Today

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