In a sad turn of events, one of four cheetah cubs born in Kuno National Park (KNP) on March 29, 2023, has died. The cub, born to a three-year-old female Jwala who arrived in India in September 2022, passed away on May 23.
The forest department officials claimed that the cub's fragility was likely a contributing factor, as it had shown signs of weakness since birth.
Wildlife ranger JS Chauhan, Jwala said that they discovered her deceased cub around 7 am on May 23. Video footage of her revealed that three of her cubs were walking alongside her, while her fourth remained motionless on the ground.
The monitoring team closely examined the situation and noted that the pup had tried to raise its head. Vets were immediately dispatched to the scene, but sadly, the pup did not survive the treatment. Preliminary findings indicate that the pup was debilitated, showing less activity and energy compared to his siblings.
Officials in a statement further noted that the pup had consumed less milk than the other pups, raising concerns among officials about his survival.
Cause of death extreme weakness
Madhya Pradesh Chief Conservative Chief JS Chouhan told ANI that the decision to relocate cheetahs from Kuno National Park lies solely with the central government and is not within its jurisdiction.
Regarding the recent death of a cheetah cub named Jwala in the park, Chouhan stated that the cub passed away due to weakness, but a full postmortem examination will be done to determine if there were any other underlying problems.
He assured that the remaining three pups are healthy, in good condition and actively playful.
Low survival rates
A recent press release from Kuno National Park shed light on the alarming survival rate of cheetah cubs in Africa. The statement note, which references experts and available literature, cheetah cubs in open forests have only a 10% chance of survival.
Under natural circumstances, only one in ten cheetah cubs make it to adulthood, a statistic that sets them apart from other big cat species. This explains why cheetahs have a greater number of cubs, as stated in the press release.
In recent months, KNP has witnessed a series of cheetah deaths. Namibian cheetah Sasha passed away in March due to kidney failure, followed by Uday, who succumbed to heart failure on April 24. Just earlier this month, authorities discovered the lifeless body of a female cheetah named Daksha as she was mating with two male cheetahs on May 9.
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