Sheopur (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 30 (ANI): A three-year-old female cheetah 'Siyaya' brought from Namibia at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh's Sheopur district, has given birth to four cubs, a forest official said on Wednesday.
The cubs of the cheetah were spotted for the first time on Wednesday. The cubs and the Cheetah Siyaya were completely healthy and active.
The birth to four cubs comes three days after one of the cheetahs, Sasha, died due to a kidney ailment.
Madhya Pradesh Principal Chief Conservator of Forests J S Chouhan said, "Siyaya translocated to India from Namibia on September 17, 2022 gave birth to four cubs around five days ago. The cubs are safe in a pre-release enclosure. When the mother cheetah will bring out the cubs into the open then we'll know about their gender."Eight cheetahs were brought from Namibia in mid-September last year and housed in the Kuno National Park in the Sheopur district.
According to a release issued by the forest department, Siyaya was released from the Quarantine enclosure to enclosure number 5 on November 28, 2022.
Siyaya's activities were found concentrated at one place in the enclosure no 5, which suggested that Siyaya was probably about to give birth. On Wednesday, when Siyaya went out for hunting, Namibian cheetah expert Ilai Walker went to that place and saw that Siyaya had given birth to 4 cubs. Cubs appear to be around 5 days old, it added.
Reacting to the birth of Cheetah cubs, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan wrote on Twitter, "With the inspiration and successful efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the cheetah has made a happy return to India. Madhya Pradesh has become Cheetah State. Today, the residents of Madhya Pradesh are happy with the arrival of four new cubs in the Cheetah family in Kuno National Park.""It is our great pleasure that the Cheetah family is growing at Kuno National Park. The successful management of the Forest Department, Kuno National Park and local administration has yielded pleasant results. I congratulate the entire team of the Forest Department, under whose supervision the Cheetah Project is progressing successfully in India," Chouhan added.
Notably, PM Modi had released the eight cheetahs brought from Namibia at Kuno National Park on the occasion of his birthday on September 17, last year.
The cheetah was declared extinct from India in 1952 but 8 cheetahs (5 females and 3 males) were brought from Africa's Namibia as part of 'Project Cheetah' and the government's efforts to revitalise and diversify the country's wildlife and habitat.
Later on, 12 more Cheetahs were brought from South Africa and rehabilitated to Kuno National Park on February 18.
Under the ambitious Project Cheetah of the Indian government, the reintroduction of wild species particularly cheetahs was undertaken according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines.
India has a long history of wildlife conservation. One of the most successful wildlife conservation ventures 'Project Tiger', which was initiated way back in 1972, has not only contributed to the conservation of tigers but also to the entire ecosystem. (ANI)