Another cheetah dies in India

CCF regrets losses
Ten of the 20 cheetahs that were relocated from Namibia and South Africa to the Kuno National Park in 2022, have died.
Francoise Steynberg
A Namibian leopard named Shaurya died on Tuesday in India's Kuno National Park in the Madhya Pradesh province.
Forestry officials in the park noticed on Tuesday morning that the male was weak and off balance.
According to a statement by the forestry department, veterinarians anaesthetised and treated the cheetah, but "complications arose after efforts to save the cheetah and the cat did not respond to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)".
The cause of his death will only be determined after a post-mortem examination.
A total of 20 cheetahs – eight from Namibia and 12 from South Africa – were resettled in the park in 2022 after the species became extinct in India more than 70 years ago.
This is the tenth cheetah to die in Kuno. So far, seven adults and three cubs have died in the park due to various causes.
A female cheetah from Namibia, Sasha, died on 27 March last year due to kidney disease. Last year, the Namibian cheetah, Jwala, gave birth to four cubs after mating with Shaurya.
However, three of the cubs died in May 2023 due to extreme weather conditions. The surviving cub's mother rejected him after park officials took him away for treatment and must now be cared for by them.
The last Namibian cheetah death was that of the female Dhatri after a monitoring team found her dead on 2 August 2023.
Shaurya and his brother Gaurav are the first two cheetahs to be released into the park but were also among those found with neck wounds. The brothers were taken back to fenced camps in the park for health checks in July 2023, where they have remained ever since.
The Indian government has maintained in statements that the deaths were all due to "natural causes", including "traumatic shock" and dehydration. However, cheetah experts said last year that septicemia caused some of the deaths due to infected neck wounds and that one of the cheetah deaths could have been prevented.
The director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia Dr. Laurie Marker told NMH that "we, like our Indian colleagues, are very saddened by this loss".
She says the relocation of cheetahs is a difficult process. "Unfortunately, losses are expected. We all worked hard to minimize losses," said Marker. "We still see so many losses here in Namibia, which are not caused by nature, but by man."
The CCF is hosting the International Cheetah Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 28 to 31 January to examine the challenges of survival of the most endangered cat species. – [email protected]