Cheetahs in Kuno National Park Suffer Deep Neck Wounds, Concerns Mount Over Radio Collars

Bhopal: The recent discovery of deep wounds on the necks of three cheetahs residing in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park has sparked concerns regarding the use of radio collars on these animals. Forest officials have taken action by tranquillizing one of the cheetahs, Pawan (formerly known as Oban), to remove the collar ID. During the procedure, doctors uncovered a severe wound infested with insects, prompting immediate treatment to address the infection.

To address the severity of the situation, a team of eight doctors, four on-site at Kuno National Park and an additional four summoned from Gwalior and Bhopal, will work collaboratively in pairs. Their mission is to tranquillize the cheetahs, provide necessary medication, and closely monitor their progress. As a precautionary measure, all radio-collared free-ranging cheetahs may be relocated to enclosures for thorough examination, with the possibility of employing drones to monitor their movement in the wild.

India’s cheetah reintroduction program brought in 20 adult cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa last year, with the aim of reintroducing the species to the Indian habitat. However, the recent deaths of eight cheetahs within the past five months have raised concerns and cast doubt on the success of the program. In response, the government has clarified that five of the cheetah deaths were attributed to natural causes. They refute media reports that speculate about factors such as radio collars, emphasizing the lack of scientific evidence supporting these claims.

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