NEW DELHI: An official reported on Wednesday that Siyaya, a three-year-old cheetah raised in captivity, gave birth to four pups five days ago in a plush, predator-free enclosure in Kuno National Park.
Days before this development, Sasha, a female cheetah, had passed away from renal disease. Siyaya had been invisible for the previous five days, according to JS Chauhan, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) (wildlife). A portion of the satellite collar displayed her whereabouts.
Eli Walker, a cheetah expert from Namibia, examined her today (Wednesday) and discovered four babies. The mother and cubs appear to be in good shape. “That is a natural process, so we won't meddle. We shall keep watch on Siyaya and the cubs to safeguard them” he continued.
Environment minister Bhupender Yadav described it as a historic occasion and gave Project Cheetah's team credit. The minister commended the entire Project Cheetah team for their tenacious efforts to bring the giant carnivore back to India and for their efforts to right a historical ecological wrong.
"The birth of four cubs demonstrated that cheetahs are at ease and had acclimated well to this area in Kuno National Park, where they exclusively mate in a stress-free setting. They are actively increasing the cheetah population”, claims YV Jhala, former director and lead scientist of the cheetah project.
On September 17, 2022, eight cheetahs were sent to India, including Siyaya. Forest officials claim that another cheetah named Asha, who was released into the wild last week, is showing signs of pregnancy. However, this won't be confirmed until the cubs are born.
This, according to the expert, is a promising development for the first intercontinental cheetah translocation initiative. Presently, Kuno National Park is home to 19 cheetahs: 12 from South Africa are in quarantine, 12 from South Africa are in the wild, and three from Namibia are kept in a soft enclosure.
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