Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Field director of Kuno National Park, Uttam Kumar Sharma, has told Chief Wildlife Warden Asim Shrivastava that onset of winter season was the best time to release cheetahs into the wild. At present, they have been kept in big enclosures.
Shrivastava is the member of Cheetah Steering Committee and will apprise the committee about the matter. The decision to release cheetahs in the jungle may be taken shortly.
“I have told Chief Wildlife Warden that cheetahs should be released in the jungle as it is the right time to do so. In big enclosures, cheetahs have been hunting and surviving on their own,” Uttam Kumar told Free Press.
At the next meeting of cheetah steering committee, which may be held soon, the decision to release cheetahs into the wild may be taken with other decisions. The cheetahs are inside the big enclosures since the onset of monsoon season.
According to experts, cheetahs cannot be kept in enclosures for a long time. If they are kept for long duration inside enclosures, then their hunting skills get affected. In all, 20 cheetahs were brought from South Afrcia and Namibia last year.
Of them, 14 adult cheetahs survive. Six cheetahs have died due to diseases. At least three cheetahs have died while living in the wild, forcing authorities to capture remaining free ranging cheetahs and bring them back to enclosures.
In open jungle, two cheetahs died allegedly due to collar-related infection. A female cheetah had given birth to four cubs and of them, three have died due to extreme heat in summer season. Thus, eight cheetahs have died so far.