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Deaths of Cheetahs in Kuno were expected: South Africa forest dept

Reintroducing large carnivorous animals to a new habitat is extremely complex and a risky endeavour

One of the eight cheetahs brought from Namibia taking a rest in Kuno National Park, in Sheopur on Sunday.

One of the eight cheetahs brought from Namibia taking a rest in Kuno National Park, in Sheopur on Sunday.

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Forestry Department of South Africa has said that the death of two cheetahs in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park was expected and within mortality rates for a project like this.

The cheetahs were relocated to Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh, as part of an initiative to expand the cheetah meta-population and to reintroduce cheetahs in the country.

In a statement issued by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), South Africa said, "The cheetah joined eight of the mammals relocated to India's Kuno National Park from Namibia in September 2022. The two cheetah deaths (one from Namibia and one from South Africa) observed to date are within expected mortality rates for a project of this nature."

The statement further said that the reintroduction of large carnivorous animals to a new habitat is extremely complex and a risky endeavour. To introduce Cheetahs into large environments is a complex process because regular monitoring is limited, and there is little that can be done to ensure their well-being.

"The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) awaits a diagnosis (an autopsy) for the death of the cheetah, but there is no indication that it is any form of infectious disease or that there is a similar threat to any of the other cheetahs", the government of South Africa said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the Indian and South African governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to reintroduce Cheetahs to India. The agreement facilitates cooperation between the two countries in order to share expertise and capacity to promote Cheetah conservation.

(With agency inputs)

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First Published: Apr 28 2023 | 3:33 PM IST

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