30 Mar 4 Cheetah cubs born on Indian soil.
India has welcomed four cheetah cubs for the first time after they were declared officially extinct here more than 70 years ago. Calling it a “momentous event”, Union Environment Minister Bhupendar Yadav announced the good news yesterday. “I congratulate the entire team of Project Cheetah for their relentless efforts in bringing back cheetahs to India and for their efforts in correcting an ecological wrong done in the past,” he said.
The cubs were delivered by a cheetah named Siyaya in Kuno National Park. Siyaya and the cubs are in good and healthy condition. Siyaya is one of the females that were translocated from Namibia to Kuno last year on September 17. A total of eight cheetahs were brought over from there as part of the cheetah reintroduction programme. And another twelve cheetahs were brought from South Africa last month.
According to the Press Trust of India, the cubs are believed to have been born five days ago. But, they were spotted by the officials yesterday. Siyaya has also killed two animals since she became a mother. She would have mated after she arrived in India in September last year, as a female cheetah generally gives birth 90 to 93 days after mating.
The birth of the cubs is a positive sign. The last cheetah was hunted in the Korea district of present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947 and these felines were officially declared extinct in India in 1952.