Female cheetah Gamini with its newly born cubs at Kuno National Park in Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Cheetah ‘Gamini’ on Sunday gave birth to five cubs in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district, taking the total number of the big cats in the country to 26, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav said.

Taking to social media platform X, the Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said, “High Five, Kuno! Female cheetah Gamini, aged about 5 years, brought from Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa, has given birth to 5 cubs today.” The number of cheetah cubs born in India now stands at 13, the minister added.

This is the fourth cheetah litter on Indian soil and the first litter of cheetahs brought from South Africa, Mr. Yadav informed.

In March last year, cheetah Jwala (Namibian name Siyaya) had given birth to four cubs but only one managed to survive. Jwala gave birth to her second litter of four cubs in January this year., which was followed by cheetah Aasha delivering three cubs.

“Congratulations to all, especially the team of forest officers, vets, and field staff who have ensured a stress-free environment for cheetahs, which has led to successful mating and birth of the cubs. The total number of cheetahs, including cubs in Kuno National Park, is 26. Gamini’s legacy leaps forward: Introducing her adorable cubs,” the Union Minister stated.

Under the ambitious cheetah reintroduction project, eight Namibian cheetahs, comprising five females and three males, were released into enclosures at KNP on September 17 in 2022.

In February 2023, another 12 cheetahs were brought to the park from South Africa. Gamini is part of the group brought from South Africa.

Since March last year, 10 cheetahs, including three cubs born to Jwala, have died.

According to officials, the 26 cheetahs in KNP presently comprise seven females, six males and 13 cubs.

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