Cheetah Oban aka Pavan, who had strayed out of Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh multiple times and had to be rescued from far-off locations, has been shifted to an enclosure in the park, a senior Forest department official said on Tuesday.
The male cheetah had wandered outside KNP at least two times this month. In the latest incident, the feline was tranquilised on April 22 while he was about to cross over to a forest in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and brought back to KNP. On April 7, Pavan was rescued from Bairad area in Shivpuri in MP after being tranquilised, officials had said earlier.
KNP’s Divisional Forest Officer Prakash Kumar Verma confirmed to PTI on Tuesday that cheetah Pavan is now shifted to a large enclosure, where the feline is staying with two female cheetahs. ”Since Pavan was repeatedly venturing out of KNP boundaries and reaching non-forest areas, the Cheetah Task Force decided to put the feline into a large enclosure to ensure that other works at the park are not affected,” he said. Pavan and female cheetah Asha were released into the wild on March 11, almost six months after they were brought to KNP from Africa. Two other felines, Elton and Freddie, were released into the park’s free-range area on March 22.
The KNP has seen the death of two cheetahs- a male and a female- in less than a month. On April 23, male cheetah Uday, translocated from South Africa in February this year, died prima facie due to cardio-pulmonary failure, officials had said. One of the eight Namibian cheetahs, Sasha, aged more than four-and-a-half-years, died of a kidney ailment on March 27.
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Under ‘Project Cheetah’ for reintroducing the species that became extinct in India in 1952, a total of 20 felines, including ten females, were translocated to KNP in Sheopur district of MP from Namibia and South Africa in two batches in September 2022, and February this year. A cheetah, named Siyaya, recently gave birth to four cubs. The last cheetah died in India in Koriya district in present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947.