Another Cheetah, Dhatri, Dies at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh

A statement by the forest department stated that post-mortem was being conducted to determine the cause of death

Bhopal: One more cheetah has died at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, making it the ninth feline to die since March, according to a statement from the state forest department.

This morning, one of the female cheetahs -- Dhatri (Tbilisi) -- was found dead. A post-mortem is being conducted to determine the cause of death

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 under way to bring her back to an enclosure for a health examination, the statement said.

Last month, two cheetahs died due to infection in wounds caused by the radio collars around their necks. However, the environment ministry said all cheetah deaths were due to natural causes.

Experts involved in the cheetah reintroduction project had told PTI that heavy rain, extreme heat, and humidity may have caused the problems, “with the collars fitted around the necks of the cheetahs potentially causing additional complications”.

Following the deaths, all the cheetahs, except the two females, were brought back to their enclosures for examination. An expert veterinarian from South Africa cleaned up the wounds. All the cheetahs have been administered Fluralaner, a systemic insecticide and acaricide given orally or topically.

Under the much-vaunted Project Cheetah, a total of 20 animals were imported from Namibia and South Africa to the KNP in two batches—one in September last year and the second in February this year.

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 had also succumbed to extreme heat. The remaining cub is being hand-raised for future wildling.

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