A sub-adult tiger from Rajasthan has entered Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park (KNP), where cheetahs from Africa have been introduced to revive their population in the country, an official said on Sunday. Tiger pugmarks were found inside KNP two to three days back, said forest officials.
Park director Uttam Sharma told PTI that there is no direct threat to the cheetahs as they have been kept in soft enclosures or bomas in the park. Officials said the tiger, around three years old, forayed into the protected forest from Rajasthan’s Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, which is about 100 km from KNP. The park now has seven male and as many female cheetahs and a cub.
Officials said leopards too are scared of tigers and are very watchful of them. KNP has a high density of leopards, they said. The Kuno National Park is spread over 748 sq km. Besides, it has a buffer area of 487 sq km. The average weight of a male tiger animal is about 200 kg, while that of a male cheetah is between 55 and 60 kg, they added.
Under the cheetah reintroduction project, eight Namibian cheetahs, comprising five females and three males, were released into enclosures at KNP on September 17 last year. In February this year, 12 more cheetahs arrived at KNP from South Africa. Later, four cubs were born in the park, raising the number of the felines to 24.
Since March, nine cheetahs, including three cubs, have died, while 14 cheetahs and one cub are in healthy condition, officials had said earlier. Cheetahs were declared extinct in India in 1952.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)