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Male Cheetah Suraj Dead At Kuno National Park; Is Cheetah’s Project In Kuno National Park In Danger?

The death of Male Cheetah Suraj including other seven cheetahs in the last five months has been questioned, Is Cheetah’s Project In Kuno National Park In Danger?

Vivek Singh
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

India has suffered yet another loss in its efforts to increase the population of cheetahs. This time, a male cheetah imported from South Africa named Suraj was found dead in Kuno National Park. The authorities are currently investigating the cause of death. This unfortunate incident occurred shortly after the death of another cheetah named Tejas in the same national park, which was determined to be the result of a violent fight. Media reports reported that Suraj's internal organs were also compromised.

Eighth Cheetah’s Death In Last 5 Months

Sasha, a female cheetah, passed away on March 27 due to a kidney ailment. Uday, another cheetah, then died on April 23 from cardio-pulmonary failure. Daksha, a female cheetah, suffered a violent encounter with a male during a mating attempt and died on May 9.

Additionally, two cheetah cubs died on May 25 as a result of extreme weather conditions and dehydration. These series of deaths have disrupted the central government's plan to reintroduce the cheetah population in the country after the native Asiatic cheetah was declared extinct in 1952.

Is Cheetah’s Project In Kuno National Park In Danger?

India imported a total of 20 cheetahs. Out of which, 12 were from South Africa and 8 from Namibia. However, the attempt to reintroduce cheetahs in India has raised doubts among biologists who are concerned about the lack of space for the big cats to roam freely without being killed by predators or humans. Vincent van der Merwe, a South African wildlife expert, had predicted that the reintroduction project would lead to more cheetah deaths, especially when they come into conflict with leopards and tigers in the park.

In the past, the Asiatic cheetahs were found in North Africa, the Middle East, and throughout India, serving as hunting companions for the royal families during the Mughal Empire era. Unfortunately, the cheetah population declined due to hunting.

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