India's Project Cheetah received yet another jolt as one more cheetah died at Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP) on Tuesday - the third to die in just over a month.
'Daksha' is the second female and the second South African cheetah to die at the KNP after male cheetah 'Uday' last month. It died just a fortnight after six-year-old Uday, died of a heart attack, according to a post-mortem report.
"Daksha was found in injured condition in the morning by a monitoring team of the KNP. She was immediately given necessary medication and treatment but she died around 12 noon," a Forest Department official told IANS.
It was released in enclosure number one and two male cheetahs, Vayu and Agni, were released from boma 7 (enclosure) for mating, but it appears that the male cheetahs turned violent during the process - which is "a normal thing", according to the official.
The female cheetah may have got injured due to a "violent interaction" during mating with the adult males, Madhya Pradesh's Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, J.S. Chouhan said.
"Daksha was immediately given necessary medication and treatment but she died around 12 noon," he added.
A total of 20 cheetahs, translocated from Namibia and South Africa, were moved to Kuno National Park in September and February, respectively, in the initial phase of a plan to revive the species that disappeared from the country 70 years ago. Earlier, female Sasha (Namibian) and Uday (South African) died on March 27 and April 23, respectively.
Last week, a senior member of the National Tigers Conservation Authority (NTCA) had told IANS had maintained that 'Project Cheetah' is long project and the death of few cheetahs would not affect it. However, the NTCA member had said that a team would visit to KNP to review the condition of cheetahs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first batch of eight spotted felines -- five females and three males -- from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at Kuno on his 72nd birthday on September 17 last year.