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Female Cheetah Dies At Kuno National Park, Possibly Killed During Mating

Tragic loss has occurred at Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park, as a female cheetah named Daksha has died.

Another tragic loss has occurred at Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park, as a female cheetah named Daksha has died, becoming the third cheetah to perish at the park in just 40 days. Officials suspect that Daksha may have sustained fatal injuries while mating with two male cheetahs, Vayu and Agni.

According to Madhya Pradesh Chief Conservator of Forest JS Chauhan, the male cheetahs were released from enclosure number seven for mating, while Daksha was released from enclosure number one. During the mating process, it is normal for male cheetahs to form coalitions or partnerships with their brothers or other unrelated males to increase their chances of hunting larger prey together. However, sometimes males in a coalition also compete for a female, and the dominant male gets the opportunity to mate.

Daksha’s unfortunate death is believed to have resulted from a violent interaction with the two male cheetahs during the mating process. Though she was immediately given the necessary medication and treatment, she ultimately succumbed to her injuries around 12 noon.

The loss of Daksha marks another devastating blow to Project Cheetah, an ambitious conservation initiative that aims to reintroduce cheetahs to India’s wild after being locally extinct for over 70 years. Twenty cheetahs were brought to Kuno National Park from South Africa last year as part of this project. Unfortunately, two cheetahs, Sasha and Uday, died in March and April, respectively, shortly after being relocated to the park.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first batch of eight spotted felines, five females and three males, from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at Kuno on his 72nd birthday in September 2022. Later, in February 2023, 12 cheetahs were flown in from South Africa and released into Kuno.

The deaths of these cheetahs are undoubtedly a setback for the project, and officials must ensure the safety of the remaining cheetahs. Despite this setback, conservation efforts must continue, as these majestic felines are crucial to maintaining a healthy ecological balance in the region.

Daksha’s unfortunate demise is a reminder of the challenges and risks involved in the ambitious conservation project of reintroducing cheetahs to India’s wild. It is crucial to take all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of these vulnerable animals, as their survival is important not just for their species but for the overall health of the ecosystem as well.

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