Two cheetahs - Tejas & Suraj die of infection, Minister
The Forest and Environment Minister said that the cheetahs developed infections due to heavy rains
Union Minister Bhupender Yadav on Saturday said that two cheetahs -- Tejas and Suraj, died at Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP) due to infection.
The Forest and Environment Minister said that the cheetahs developed infections due to heavy rains.
Yadav, however, said that even as infections were noticed, wildlife officials along with Namibian cheetah experts were working to resolve the issue.
The minister's statement, though, was different from what the Centre and National Tiger Conservation Authority of India (NTCA) had stated earlier.
The nodal agency of the ambitious 'Project Cheetah' and the Centre have so for maintained that Tejas and Suraj died a natural death, and denied all speculation and other media reports.
The minister said: "We are committed to make this project successful. It is a long project wherein cheetahs would be trans-located from the overseas countries every year. The experts are working to find out a solution to the problem of infection causing death of cheetahs at Kuno."
He further claimed the cheetah management team is engaged in this project with full seriousness, and worried about making the project successful, so that the cheetahs can be translocated every year.
As many as nine cheetahs have died so far at KNP. Namibian female feline Dhatri was the latest casualty.
A female Cheetah, Sasha, was the first to die on March 27 due to a kidney ailment.
Subsequently, Uday passed away on April 23 due to cardio-pulmonary failure while Daksha, another female cheetah, lost her life on May 9.
Two Cheetah cubs also succumbed to "extreme weather conditions and dehydration" on May 25.
Tejas died on July 11 while Suraj died on July 14.