Kuno: Three cheetah cubs died within this week at Kuno National Park, dealing yet another setback to a historic effort by the Indian government to reintroduce the species in the country after 70 years of extinction. South African wildlife expert Vincent van der Merwe said that the mortality rate of these cheetahs amid their reintroduction will see a spike in the coming months.
He added that there are chances that the mortality rate could up to 50% in the first year as only ten are going to survive the initial release period. “There’s going to be more than enough prey for them”, he further added.
The deaths are expected to be higher as big cats try to establish their territories as the recent deaths still lie within the acceptable range. The first cub died on Tuesday morning and over the next two cubs succumbed to heat, dehydration, and weakness, confirmed JS Chouhan, the chief conservator of the Forest Department, Madhya Pradesh.
The government did not give the cause of death but the day they died was one of the hottest of the season. Supreme Court has advised to rehabilitate cheetahs to Rajasthan.