NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India has demanded a response from the central government concerning the recent cheetah deaths at Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park. Media reports reveal that a concerning 40% of cheetah deaths occurred within a year, painting a distressing picture.
The Centre has agreed to present its response on this matter during the next hearing, scheduled for August 1. Tragically, eight cheetahs have died this year, including five adult individuals and three cubs at Kuno National Park. According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), all these fatalities have resulted from natural causes.
Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate highlighted experiences in Africa related to the reintroduction of cheetahs. The ministry pointed out that five adult cheetah mortalities were reported at Kuno National Park from a total of 20 translocated cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia. However, the NTCA's preliminary analysis attributes these mortalities to natural causes, dismissing speculative reports linking the deaths to radio collars.
The series of cheetah deaths has raised concerns about their suitability and adaptability in India, leading to doubts regarding the success of 'Project Cheetah.' In response, the environment ministry clarified that it is premature to determine the project's outcome in terms of success or failure since cheetah reintroduction is a long-term endeavor.
The ministry remains optimistic, asserting that 'Project Cheetah' has already provided valuable insights into cheetah management, monitoring, and protection over the last 10 months. Despite the challenges, there is confidence that the project will ultimately succeed, and there is no need for speculation at this point.