Female Cheetah introduction project

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A female cheetah has died during India’s cheetah introduction project, bringing the death toll to three. The South African cheetah, named Daksha, was fatally injured by a male during courtship behaviour in the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. Despite treatment from veterinary doctors, she died a few hours later. The government departments have said the wounds on Daksha appear to have been caused by a violent interaction with a male during a courtship mating attempt.

While tragic, wildlife scientists have said that such fights are known to occur among cheetahs in the wild. The Namibian cheetah had died on March 27 from chronic kidney disease, and the South African cheetah had died on April 23 from an unknown cause. Experts guiding the cheetah introduction project have said they do not believe that the three deaths will jeopardise the project, which aims to establish clusters of wild cheetahs in several wildlife sanctuaries across India. The project has brought eight cheetahs from Namibia in September 2022 and 12 more from South Africa in February this year. A Namibian female that mated in December delivered four cubs in March this year. The environment ministry said on Monday that all the cheetahs appeared to be healthy and displaying natural behaviour. The project involves some trial and error, and the same thing could have happened in the open too, according to an expert on cheetahs.

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