Female Cheetah ‘Sasha’ dead
Sad news came out of the Kuno National Park on Monday as one of the eight cheetahs, Sasha, that came from Namibia last year passed away due to a kidney illness she had been suffering from. Even before she was brought to India, her condition was already deteriorating. The news of her untimely demise has left wildlife enthusiasts in shock and grief.
To save Sasha’s life, a team of veterinarians led by Dr. Atul Gupta, the lead vet of Van Vihar National Park, was sent to Kuno from Bhopal, over 350 km away. The experts managed to administer fluids, which led to an improvement in Sasha’s condition.
On January 23, Sasha showed signs of fatigue and weakness, after which she was tranquilized and shifted to the quarantine enclosure for treatment. She was three years old and was released at Kuno on September 17 last year as part of India’s cheetah reintroduction programme.
“It’s normal. Sasha was sick and in spite of best efforts and help from international doctors including those from Namibia, she could not be saved. She was weak right from day one,” said a Madhya Pradesh Forest Department staff senior officer.
In the initial days after arrival, all cheetahs were kept under observation in quarantine. They were released into larger hunting enclosures in November. The cheetahs have since hunted independently and shown signs of adapting to their new home. Sasha was a captive-bred cheetah.
The reintroduction of Cheetahs is a critically important and closely watched conservation program. In the near future, 12 more of these animals will be arriving in India as part of the project plan.
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