Two more cubs, born to Jwala, a cheetah imported from Namibia last year, tragically died in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, forest officials announced Thursday.
Forest officials had mobilized teams of wildlife doctors after the death of the initial pup, doing everything possible to ensure the survival of the remaining pups. Jwala had been receiving supplemental food during the day, but concerns grew as monitoring teams noted abnormal health conditions in the cubs, exacerbated by extreme temperatures reaching 46-47 degrees Celsius in the park.
Reacting quickly, the teams decided to rescue the remaining three pups and provide them with the necessary treatment. Unfortunately, despite all efforts, two of the puppies could not be saved due to their extremely critical condition. The remaining cub is receiving intensive treatment and close monitoring at the Palpur hospital.
“All of the cheetah cubs were found to be weak, underweight and poorly hydrated. Jwala, who gave birth for the first time, is of the Hund Riyadh race. The cubs, when they are almost eight weeks old, want to stay curled up around their mother. They had started walking with their mother 8 to 10 days ago,” Kuno National Park said after the two cubs died.
Forest officials have been in constant communication with cheetah experts and doctors in Namibia and South Africa, working tirelessly to ensure the survival of the remaining cub, which is currently in stable condition but requires ongoing intensive care.
Signs of weakness since birth
The forest department has revealed that the recent deaths of cheetah cubs in Kuno National Park were likely due to their fragile condition, as they had shown signs of weakness since birth. Previously known as Siyaya, Cheetah Jwala was brought to India from Namibia in September 2022 and gave birth to four cubs in late March this year.
The unfortunate death of the two cubs brings to six the total number of cheetah deaths in the past two months. These incidents cast a shadow over reintroduction efforts, 70 years after cheetahs went extinct in India.
The first loss occurred on March 27 when Namibian cheetah Sasha passed away from a kidney-related ailment. This was followed by the death of Uday, a South African cheetah, on April 13. The most recent incident involved a South African cheetah named Daksha, who succumbed to injuries sustained during a violent interaction with a male cheetah on May 9.
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