As per a statement issued by the Madhya Pradesh State Forest Department, one of the female cheetahs at the Kuno National Park, named Dhatri (Tbilisi), wad found dead on Wednesday morning. Since the month of March, this is the ninth cheetah which has lost its live at the national park.
The statement further said, ‘Fourteen cheetahs, seven males, six females, and a female cub, are kept in enclosures in Kuno. A team comprising Kuno wildlife veterinarians and a Namibian expert regularly monitors their health. One female cheetah is out in the open and is under intensive monitoring by the team. Efforts are underway to bring her back to an enclosure for a health examination.’
As said by Aseem Shrivastava, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Dhatri’s death is being examined, and the cause of her death will be determined only after a post-mortem.
Last month, two cheetahs died due to infection in wounds caused by the radio collars around their necks. However, the environment ministry said that all cheetah deaths were due to natural causes. Under the Cheetah Reintroduction Project, eight Namibian cheetahs, five female and three males, were released into enclosures at the KNP on September 17, 2022. In February, 2023, 12 more cheetahs arrived at the KNP from South Africa.
Since March, six of these adult cheetahs have died due to various reasons. In May, three of the four cubs born to a female Namibian cheetah, Jwala, had also succumbed to extreme heat. The remaining cub is being hand-raised for future wildling.