BY ANKITA GARG
AFTER the Cheetah Project attracted controversy with deaths of nine cheetahs, including three cubs, significant statement of Dr S P Yadav, Member Secretary NTCA, and head of Cheetah Project give a new turn to the case. He simply denied the radio collar to be reason for death. Member Secretary NTCA and head Project Cheetah S P Yadav said, “After one year if we look at the standards that we set, we can say that project cheetah is successful to many extents. This is encouraging and many locals get employment for the project.” He said that radio collar is not reason for a single casualty while all wildlife across the world are monitored through the radio collar in neck. He said that this is proven technology and we cannot monitor wildlife in tough jungle without radio collar. He further informed that total 20 cheetahs were brought from Namibia and South Africa out of which 14 adults are healthy. Four cubs were born in Kuno and one of them is surviving well for six months.
He said that three cubs died of climate conditions. He said that there is no casualty due to radio collar or poaching while for the first time intercontinental translocation has been done in the world. There were many challenges in this project and after changing the entire country and continent, animal comes under stress. He said that cheetah is also sensitive animal so deaths are natural. He further said some cheetahs got infection on their neck and reason for “Tthis could be monsoon, fight with other cat , etc. All set for Cheetah Utsav at KNP: In additional to this, wide level of preparation is being done at Kuno National Park to mark the one year of cheetah reintroduction plan in India. Cheetahs were brought in India’s KNP on September 17, 2022. District management is making all preparation for the Cheetah Utsav. Union Forest Minister Bhupendra Yadav has also given his consent to attend the programme. He will be visiting the parade of forest staff and also interacting with Cheetah Mitra. Sources said that there are also proposal to release the female cheetah Asha into wild during the occasion. However, final decision will be taken after expert opinion