Madhya Pradesh: A female cheetah 'Dhatri' was found dead in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday morning. Officials are conducting a post-mortem to ascertain the cause of death.
It was the latest in a string of cheetah deaths in Kuno National Park, which imported 20 cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia as part of an ambitious program called Project Cheetah. The project aims to return these majestic felines to Indian soil, where they became extinct nearly seven decades ago.
A total of nine cheetahs have tragically died since their reintroduction. These included three cubs born to cheetahs brought from Africa.
The cause of these deaths can be attributed to a variety of factors. Some experts believe that fighting within the species, disease, accidents before and after release, and hunting injuries may be responsible.Predatory attacks and heat stroke by other animals have also been suggested as possible causes.
There is also controversy over the use of radio collars on cheetahs. Some experts believe the collars, which are used to track and monitor the animals, have caused skin infections due to the persistent humidity of the monsoon season. These infections reportedly attract flies, leading to maggot infestation and septicaemia, a serious blood infection that proved fatal for some of the cheetahs.