The Madhya Pradesh Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, JS Chouhan, said that the decision to move cheetahs is outside of their purview and can only be made by the federal government after a cheetah youngster died in Kuno National Park.
Officials from Kuno National Park report that there are now just three young cubs left in the park, down from four. Madhya Pradesh Principal Chief Conservator JS Chouhan told ANI that the decision to move the cheetahs to a different location could only be made by the federal government and was beyond of his department's jurisdiction.
He said that Jwala the mother cheetah's youngster passed away at Kuno National Park from frailty.
According to Chouhan, Jwala, a female cheetah, gave birth to four pups on March 24 of this year. We are keeping an eye on them all the time. After one and a half months, these cubs and their mother Jwala were removed, and ever since, it had been seen that one of the cubs was a bit weaker than the others. It was unable to hold its own against the other three.
He said that on Tuesday morning, the surveillance crew saw that the mother cheetah and all of the cubs were residing in the same area. Following that, Jwala and the other three cubs stood up and left.
The cub was still alive when the researchers arrived at it. The monitoring staff then made a call to the veterinary team. He said that despite their efforts to transfer the cub to the hospital, it passed away within 5 to 10 minutes of arriving in the morning.
When describing the reason of death, Chouhan remarked, “Immense weakness is to blame. A thorough postmortem will also be conducted. If there were any other issues or not will be discovered after the postmortem report.
The remaining three cubs are excellent, healthy, and really lively, he said.
He said, “In all these circumstances, we do not believe that there is any lapse or error on the part of anybody. This is in response to issues being made about how Kuno Park is operating and if there is any type of lapse given the ongoing reports of cheetah fatalities. These are factors beyond of our control.
Jwala, a female cheetah imported from Namibia, gave birth to four cubs in March of this year in Kuno National Park in the Sheopur area of Madhya Pradesh.
Notably, three cheetahs have already perished within the National Park in recent months, casting suspicion on the Kuno management and administration.
On September 17, 2016, in honor of his birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the eight cheetahs he had brought from Namibia into Kuno National Park.
The cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952, but as part of “Project Cheetah” and the government's attempts to revive and diversify the nation's fauna and environment, 8 cheetahs (5 females and 3 males) were transported from Namibia in Africa.
Later, on February 18, 12 more Cheetahs were transported from South Africa and rehabilitated at Kuno National Park.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) regulations were followed in the ambitious Project Cheetah of the Indian government while reintroducing wild animals, notably cheetahs.
India has a long tradition of protecting animals. Project Tiger, one of the most effective efforts to conserve wildlife, was started back in 1972 and has helped to preserve not just tigers but also the whole ecosystem.