“Why make it an issue of prestige?” Supreme Court focuses on cheetah deaths

Two cheetahs died in the national park last week.

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the deaths of cheetahs in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park and urged the center to take some positive steps in this regard. However, the center told the Supreme Court that 50 percent of translocation deaths are normal.

Judges BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Prashant Kumar Mishra made these observations while considering the matter surrounding the cheetah deaths.

The court noted the deaths of two cheetahs last week and asked the center why it made it a matter of prestige.

The court also questioned why the cheetahs are housed in one place. The court recommended that the center take some positive steps.

Additional Attorney General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the government, replied to the court that they are doing their best for the project. She told the court that 50 percent of resettlement deaths were normal.

The court wanted to know whether or not they are suitable for the climate or suffer from kidney or respiratory problems. ASG responded that the infections led to the deaths.

The court noted that one of the protected areas in Rajasthan was known for leopards and recommended that the court consider this aspect.

Twelve cheetahs from South Africa arrived at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on February 18, after South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on reintroducing cheetahs to India in order to establish a viable cheetah population in the Asian country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had previously released eight cheetahs brought from Namibia in Kuno National Park on the occasion of his birthday on September 17, 2022. A cheetah recently died from disease.

The MoU on Cheetah Reintroduction in India facilitates cooperation between the parties to establish a viable and safe cheetah population in India, promotes conservation and ensures expertise is shared and exchanged, and capacity is built to promote cheetah conservation.

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