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The South Asian Insider

Another cheetah dies at Kuno National Park, third death in three months

Twenty cheetahs were brought to the national park since last year, of which two died in March and April. (News Agency)-A female cheetah, Daksha, brought from South Africa and placed in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park, was killed in a fight with other cheetahs inside the park. According to sources, Daksha died in a "violent interaction" with the Phinda adult male coalition, which included Vayu and Agni and is also known as the White Walkers. This is the third cheetah to die in Kuno since the cats were brought from South Africa and Namibia. "Prima facie, the wounds found on the female cheetah Daksha seem to have been caused by a violent interaction with the male, during the courtship/ mating attempt," said the Union environment ministry in a statement.
Twenty cheetahs were brought to the national park since last year, of which two died in March and April.
Sasha, a captive-bred Cheetah, died in March from a kidney ailment she had been suffering from since before she was brought to India. On January 23, she showed signs of fatigue and weakness, after which officials tranquilised and shifted her to a quarantine enclosure for treatment.
In April, the second Cheetah, Uday, died during treatment after he was found sick at the national park.
Earlier today, the Union Environment Ministry said five cheetahs - three females and two males - will be released from the acclimatisation camps into the free-ranging conditions at the Kuno National Park (KNP) before the onset of the monsoon in June.
The ministry also said the cheetahs will be allowed to move out of KNP and will not necessarily be "recaptured unless they venture into areas where they are in significant danger".
So far, four of the eight cheetahs brought from Namibia have been released from the fenced acclimatisation camps into free-ranging conditions in KNP.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released eight cheetahs flown in from Namibia into a special enclosure at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh in September last year.
The cheetahs were brought to Gwalior from Namibia in a special plane as part of the cheetah reintroduction programme. The animals were later flown to the national park in two Indian Air Force helicopters.
India welcomed 12 more cheetahs from South Africa in February. The second batch of cheetahs landed at the Air Force station in Gwalior before they were taken to Kuno National Park.