NEW DELHI, March 28 (Xinhua) -- A female cheetah brought last year from Namibia to the Kuno National Park in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh died due to a kidney infection, officials said Tuesday.
The cheetah named Sasha was one of the first eight cheetahs that were translocated to India as part of the government's ambitious cheetah introduction project.
According to the Madhya Pradesh forest department, Sasha died on Monday. The female cheetah had shown signs of weakness on March 22, following which she was examined by three veterinarians and blood samples confirmed the infection of the kidneys.
"She was among four Namibian cheetahs still confined to hunting enclosures and not released into the wild," an official said. "A blood test revealed that her creatinine levels were very high, which indicated an infection in the kidney."
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Jasbir Singh Chauhan was quoted by local media as saying that the female cheetah died because of a kidney infection which she was suffering from even before her translocation from Namibia.
According to officials, other cheetahs in the park are healthy.
India's cheetah reintroduction program is aimed at reviving the population of cheetahs in India, where they became extinct over 70 years ago.
Prior to their extinction from India in 1952, cheetahs used to share space with other big cats like lions and tigers in the forests.
The transportation of cheetahs last year into India was declared by the Indian government as the "world's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project."
Last month, a total of 12 more cheetahs, including seven males and five females, were brought to the Kuno National Park from South Africa. ■