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Supreme Court On Cheetah Deaths

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'No Reasons To Doubt Centre's Arguments': Supreme Court On Cheetah Deaths

New Delhi:

In a big relief for the government, the Supreme Court today said that there was no reason to question the government on the moves being made to reintroduce cheetahs in India. The court’s remark came after a petition on the death of nine cheetahs this year in the Kuno National Park.

The nine cheetahs that have died at the national park in Madhya Pradesh include three cubs. In September last year, the national park had seen the reintroduction of 20 adult cheetahs brought from Namibia and South Africa. Four cubs had been born there since then.

Cheetahs were brought to the park as part of a reintroduction project after the species was declared extinct from the country in 1952.

This is the first year since the cheetahs have been translocated (from Namibia and South Africa in September 2022 and February this year respectively), the government said, adding that continuous work is going on regarding the weather conditions here and its effects.

“There is a lot of preparation. Every year there will be 12-14 new cheetahs brought in. There are problems but nothing alarming,” the government told the court.

Some experts have attributed the deaths to sub-standard radio collars used on the cheetahs. While the government has dismissed the charges as “speculation and hearsay without scientific evidence”, NDTV had accessed footage that shows authorities examining the collar and a maggot-infested wound on the neck of Suraj, who had died on July 14.

The government, in Supreme Court today, denied any lapses and said that foreign experts had been consulted before making the arrangements.

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