Cheetahs Daksha, Tejas, Suraj died due to traumatic shock: Govt in Rajya Sabha
The deceased adult cheetahs were Sasha, Uday, Daksha, Tejas and Suraj, while three others were cubs born in India
Three of the five adult cheetahs that died at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh succumbed to traumatic shock, while the cubs died due to heat strokes, the Union environment ministry told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, citing the preliminary necroscopic reports.
The deceased adult cheetahs were Sasha, Uday, Daksha, Tejas and Suraj, while three others were cubs born in India.
“Sasha died on March 27 due to chronic renal failure; Uday died on April 23 due to cardiopulmonary failure and Daksha died on May 9 also due to a traumatic shock,” said minister of state for ministry of environment, forest and climate change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey. He added that Tejas and Suraj also died due to a traumatic shock.
Choubey was responding to questions raised by MP Vivek Tankha on “whether the ministry has investigated reasons for death of cheetahs so far; if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor; and the steps that are being taken to mitigate deaths and sustain their population?”
The minister added that three cubs born in India died on May 23 due to heat strokes.
“A detailed scientific action plan has been prepared as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Guidelines for introduction of cheetah in India. As per the Actio Plan, Kuno National Park, Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary and Gandhi Sagar wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Shahgarh Bulge, Bhainsrorgarh wildlife sanctuary and enclosure in Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan are the potential sites identified for cheetah introduction. Cheetah introduction in these sites depends upon the continued availability of cheetahs from African countries for sourcing as well as the status of habitat, prey base and protection mechanism on the ground,” the response added.
Earlier on Sunday, MoEFCC in a statement said all cheetah deaths were natural. Out of 20 translocated adult cheetahs, five mortalities of adult cheetahs have been reported from Kuno and as per the preliminary analysis all mortalities are due to natural causes, the ministry said.
“There are reports in the media attributing cheetah deaths due to radio collar etc. Such reports are not based on any scientific evidence but on speculation and hearsay. For investigating the cause of cheetah deaths, consultation with international cheetah experts/veterinary doctors from South Africa and Namibia is being done on regular basis. Further, the existing capacity building aspects are being reviewed by independent national experts. The Cheetah Project Steering Committee is closely monitoring the project and has expressed satisfaction over its implementation so far,” the statement had said.
HT reported on Saturday that Suraj, the three-year-old cheetah found dead in the wild in Madhya Pradesh on Friday, had died of septicaemia caused due to skin chafing by his radio collar, the chairman of the Cheetah Task Force said.
“The radio collar caused skin abrasion, which led to maggots infesting Suraj. His situation got aggravated due to wet and humid weather conditions leading to spread of high infection in his body and septicaemia, which is rarest of rare among cats,” said Rajesh Gopal, chairman of the Cheetah Task Force.