RIP Sasha: India’s dream of its own cheetah population rests on her companions

Source: The post is based on the article “RIP Sasha: India’s dream of its own cheetah population rests on her companions” published in the Indian Express on 29th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS – 3: Environment and Bio-diversity Conservation.

Relevance: About Sasha’s death on India’s cheetah reintroduction project.

News: Sasha, one of the eight Namibian cheetahs translocated to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh has died due to kidney infection. The infection is reportedly picked up while in captivity in Namibia.

About Sasha, Cheetah Reintroduction Project and Kuno National Park

Read here: Cheetah Sasha dies due to kidney ailment in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park

About Cheetah range countries

Cheetahs’ smaller, lighter Asiatic cousins once ranged across the swathe of land from the Indian subcontinent to the Arabian peninsula. They are now declared critically endangered, found only in Iran now. That too only 12 — nine males and three females — remain.

This is because of a) a decline in prey, b) loss of habitat and c) the rise in trophy hunting.

In India, the last three recorded cheetahs are believed to have been felled by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Surguja in 1947.

What is the present state of India’s cheetah reintroduction project?

Captive cheetahs, like domestic cats, are known to be especially prone to kidney disease. On the other hand, kidney disease is rarely seen in their wild counterparts.  Among 8 cheetahs brought from Namibia, one male and one female have been released into the wild.

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