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Environment

Four Cheetah Cubs Born in Kuno National Park

The new litter of cubs born to cheetah Jwala brings the tally of cheetah cubs in Kuno to seven.

New Delhi: Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday, January 24, announced that four African cheetah cubs have been born in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park, where India’s inter-continental cheetah translocation programme, Project Cheetah, is ongoing.

“Wildlife wonders! As frontline wildlife warriors managed to get closer to Jwala, they found she has given birth to four, not three, cubs. This has increased our joy several times over,” the minister said on X (formerly Twitter).

Wildlife wonders!

As frontline wildlife warriors managed to get closer to Jwala, they found she has given birth to four, not three, cubs. This has increased our joy several times over.

Congratulations all.

We pray the cubs thrive and prosper at their home in India. pic.twitter.com/0zJj8Cxnna

A day ago, Yadav had announced that Namibian cheetah Jwala gave birth to three cubs in a post on X.

Jwala (formerly named Siyaya) is one of the eight African cheetahs that arrived in Kuno from Namibia in September 2022. The cheetahs were the first set of animals to arrive as part of Project Cheetah, and the project was launched on September 17 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday. Later, in February 2023, 12 more cheetahs arrived from South Africa, bringing the tally to a total of 20 adult cheetahs. However, only 13 of the animals remain. Seven died due to several causes (including “traumatic shock”, as claimed by the Indian government, and kidney failure).

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Mohan Yadav credited the prime minister for the latest litter of cubs, but did not mention the rocky journey the project has witnessed.

The new litter of cheetah cubs, as announced by the Union environment minister on January 23, is Jwala’s second litter in India. The animal gave birth to her first litter – of four – in March last year. But subsequently, three of the four cubs died, two of them due to heat stress and dehydration. The sole remaining cub from Jwala’s first litter is currently being hand-raised in Kuno.

Previously, Bhupender Yadav had taken to X on January 3, to announce the birth of three cubs to cheetah Aasha.

Currently there are seven cheetah cubs in Kuno: one born in Jwala’s first litter, three in her latest litter, and the three that were born to cheetah Aasha.

This story, originally published on January 23 at 12:25 pm, has been revised on January 24 at 5:30 pm, to reflect the Union environment minister’s announcement that four, not three, African cheetah cubs were born in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park.