The two African cheetahs - Freddie and Elton - who have been released into an enclosed forest area at the Kuno Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh, have made another kill. On Wednesday evening (November 9), they made their second kill after their first hunt on Sunday, November 6.
This time too, the prey was a cheetal or a spotted deer.
Why is the behaviour of cheetahs being tracked?
- This is good news for the cheetah reintroduction programme of India. It signals that the cheetahs are already adapting to their new environment.
- The second kill also suggests that the first hunt wasn't a fluke or by chance.
Considering that they kill every two-three days, we were expecting them to make another kill soon. The monitoring team had also spotted them making a chase last evening.
- Forest official told the Indian Express
- Forest officials said that the two cheetahs consumed around 25-30 kg of meat from the first kill, which was a cheetal or spotted deer.
- The African cheetahs in Kuno killing cheetals for food is also progress because they weren't used to encountering the species at all in Namibia, their homeground.
- It also shows that the cheetahs are healthy and have not lost any muscle strength during their relocation and quarantine process.
How are the animals being tracked? The cheetahs are being tracked using a Very High Frequency (VHF) satellite collar.
- They are also in an enclosed space of the national park, which is free of other competing predators like leopards.
Why only two cheetahs have been released: Eight cheetahs have been brought from Namibia to India.
- According to the procedure, they are to be kept in quarantine for a month before they can be released into an enclosed space of their natural habitat.
- Currently, only two cheetahs have been released from quarantine. Soon, forest officials will also release another male cheetah named Obaan.
- The five female cheetahs are still in quarantine and according to reports one of them, Asha, is reportedly pregnant.
- The female cheetahs have not been released yet due to the presence of female leopards in the enclosure. This is being done to avoid confrontation between female cheetahs and female leopards.
- Until the female leopards are flushed out of the enclosed area, the female cheetahs will be kept in quarantine.
- All eight cheetahs will only be released fully into Kuno Palpur National Park once they adapt to the enclosed space and become adept at hunting.
- In the near future, they will have to share their prey base and habitat with other predators like leopards; and also elephants.