Three cheetah cubs die in India amid sweltering heat wave (2023)


  • ANIRUDDHA GHOSAL Associated Press
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Marking a historic moment for India’s cheetah reintroduction project, one of the translocated Namibian cheetahs, Siyaya, gave birth to four cubs in the Kuno National Park in India.It was the culmination of a 13-year effort to restore a species. Buzz60’s Maria Mercedes Galuppo has the story.

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NEW DELHI — Three cheetah cubs born to a big cat that was brought to India from Africa last year died in central India’s Kuno National Park in the past week, forest officials said, as a heat wave in the region sent temperatures soaring.

The cubs were the first to be born in India in more than seven decades. Once widespread in India, cheetahs became extinct in 1952 from hunting and habitat loss.

Three cheetah cubs die in India amid sweltering heat wave (1)

Their mother was among the20 cheetahs that India flew in from Namibia and South Africa as part of an ambitious and hotly contested plan to reintroduce the world’s fastest land animal to the South Asian country.

The first cub died Tuesday, prompting veterinarians in the national park in Madhya Pradesh state to closely monitor the mother and her three remaining cubs. The cubs appeared weak on Thursday afternoon — a day when temperatures spiked to 113 degrees Fahrenheit — and authorities intervened to help the cats.

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(Video) News | 3 Cheetah Cubs Die in India Amid Sweltering Heat Wave

They were “weak, underweight and highly dehydrated” and two of them later died, forest officials said in a statement Thursday.

The last surviving cubis being treated in a critical care facility.

Three cheetah cubs die in India amid sweltering heat wave (3)

Officials didn't saywhat caused the deaths but a scorching heat wave in India is believed to have weakened the cubs. The survival rate of cheetah cubs both in the wild and captivity is low, according to experts.

The catswere introduced with much fanfare and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the cats would catalyze efforts to conserve India's neglected grasslands. But of the 20 adult cheetahs imported to India, three — two females and a male — have died.

Fewer than 7,000 adult cheetahs remain in the wild globally, and they now inhabit less than 9% of their original range. Shrinking habitat, due to the increasing human population and climate change, is a huge threat.

Photos: Quintuplet cheetah cubs doing well, Prague zoo says

The Prague Zoo says five cheetah cubs that were recently born in the park are doing well.



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Three cheetah cubs die in India amid sweltering heat wave? ›

NEW DELHI -- Three cheetah cubs born to a big cat that was brought to India from Africa last year died in central India's Kuno National Park in the past week, forest officials said, as a heat wave in the region sent temperatures soaring. The cubs were the first to be born in India in more than seven decades.

Do most cheetah cubs die? ›

Endangered cheetah populations in Africa have a staggeringly high rate of infant mortality: Just 5% of cheetah cubs survive to adulthood. This has led to proposals to stop predators from killing the cubs.

What is the lifespan of a cheetah? ›

Primarily diurnal, unlike many other species of cats. The average lifespan of wild cheetahs is 8 to 10 years. In human care, the average lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

How many cheetahs survive to adulthood? ›

In the wild, only about 5% of cheetahs survive to adulthood.

Why do most cheetah cubs die? ›

On average, a female cheetah may successfully rear less than two cubs to independence during her lifespan. Hyenas and leopards are also known to kill cheetah cubs. Occasionally another male cheetah may kill the cubs as well, with the presumed intention of causing the mother to go quickly back into estrus.

What kills cheetahs the most? ›

“What eats me”

Lions, leopards, and hyenas will try to prey upon cheetah, particularly cheetah cubs. Because they are so fast, adult cheetahs are difficult to catch.

Can a cheetah be a pet? ›

“Large carnivores, including cheetahs, do not make good pets. Cheetahs are a delicate species that can suffer from many health-related issues and require special food and care, as well as physical and mental stimulation.

How old was the oldest living cheetah? ›

Oldest Cheetah ever lived-27years old!

How long can a cheetah run without stopping? ›

Like we said, cheetahs are only the fastest land animals for short distances. These big cats can only maintain these incredible speeds for about a quarter of a mile before they need a rest.

Which country has most cheetahs? ›

The largest population of cheetah can be found in Namibia, home to 1/3 of the total population of cheetahs left in the world!

Are cheetahs aggressive to humans? ›

Cheetahs are not an active threat to humans, and are rather docile compared to other wild cats. But, cheetahs are still wild animals, and you should never attempt to touch a wild cheetah. This is important for your own safety, as well as for the cheetah's well-being.

Why don't cheetahs raise single cubs? ›

"A cheetah female can't produce enough milk for just one cub because a single cub won't stimulate mom enough to keep producing milk," cheetah biologist Adrienne Crosier said. "We hand-raised the first cub for about 13 days."

Why do cheetahs lick their cubs? ›

Interaction between a mother cheetah and her cubs helps them bond. Rosalie licks her cubs to clean and groom them. She has to do this right after birth and will continue to groom them regularly as they grow. Rosalie also uses grooming to stimulate her cubs to urinate and defecate.

What do cheetahs do with their cubs? ›

A mother cheetah tries to teach her cubs how to improve their hunting skills by bringing back her catch live for the cubs. She usually begins with something easy like a newborn antelope and lets the cubs practice chasing and capturing until they are doing it like it's second nature.

Do cheetahs abandon their cubs? ›

The mother will leave her cubs when they are between 16 to 24 months old, she is usually pregnant again by this stage, and will simply disappear or chase them away, leaving her cubs to fend for themselves.

Has a lion ever killed a cheetah? ›

One major reason for the low survival rate is lion predation. It's not just cheetah cubs, though. While rare, lions have been known to prey on mature cheetahs.

What are cheetahs afraid of? ›

Cheetahs are known to avoid areas frequented by hyenas and lions. Bringing along a recorded hyena or lion call will dissuade any nearby cheetah from engaging you or your party.

What animal can escape a cheetah? ›

The impala is not fast enough to win a race with a cheetah but it does have a trick that evens things out. Instead of running full speed ahead, the impala escapes the cheetah by slowing down and quickly changing direction.

Can you buy a cheetah in the US? ›

The Big Cat Public Safety Act makes it illegal to privately possess or breed big cats. The act was signed into law December 20, 2022, to end private ownership of big cats as pets and prohibit public contact with big cats, including cubs.

Which is the friendliest big cat? ›

1. Maine Coon. The Maine coon, nicknamed "America's cat," sits at the top of the friendliest cat breeds list. Don't let the large size fool you: there's nothing to fear about this sweet-natured breed that is great for families, including those with small children.

Do cheetahs like dogs? ›

“[Cheetahs are] extremely high-stress animals,” says Roy. “Dogs are everyone's best friend. Cheetahs soak that in.” So much so, she says, that some are called “the dog of the cat family.”

What is the oldest animal on earth still alive? ›

Oldest Living Vertebrate: Greenland Shark.

What are baby cheetahs called? ›

There are three stages in the life cycle of the cheetah: cub (birth to 18 months), adolescence (18 to 24 months) and adult life (24 months and on).

How high can a cheetah jump? ›

Fun cheetah facts

This is the only big cat that can turn mid-air during a sprint. Cheetahs can jump more than ten times their body's length and are known to reach 20 feet high.

Can a cheetah outrun a bullet? ›

Cheetahs are built for speed, but they cannot outrun a poacher's bullet. 90 percent of the cheetah population has disappeared from the wild over the last century, and conservation experts warn that cheetah populations continue to collapse in the wild, in large part due to poaching.

Can a human outrun a cheetah? ›

He set the world record in the 100-meter dash in 2009 with a blistering time of only 9.58 seconds. That equates to a speed of just over 23 miles per hour. That's fast, but it's no match for the cheetah! This animal could outpace Bolt at about three times his top speed.

Can anything outrun a cheetah? ›

When it comes to fast acceleration, nothing on two or four legs can beat a cheetah. The cheetah can outrun even the fastest animals, such as gazelles and hares. Running at speed puts the cheetah's body under strain. It can only run for around 20 to 60 seconds over a maximum distance of 1,640ft (500m).

What country allows a cheetah as a pet? ›

Private owners of cheetahs both legally and illegally obtained probably live in either the United Arab Emirates, some Western Asian countries where they can be purchased (and aren't illegal), or an African country where they can be found in the wild or bought at auctions. Specifically in the United Arab Emirates.

What is the cheetah capital of the world? ›

Namibia has the largest population of Cheetahs in the world, earning it the title "The Cheetah Capital of the World." Currently, Cheetahs (African) are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, as there are fewer than 7,100 adult and adolescent Cheetahs in the wild.

What is a female cheetah called? ›

A female cheetah is referred to as a "she-cheetah." While males primarily live in coalitions with their litter mates, a female cheetah lives alone or with her cubs, associating with other cheetahs only during mating.

What do cheetahs do when they are angry? ›

Moans, growls, hisses, and spitting vocalizations are generally produced in agonistic or combative situations. As a threat escalates, a cheetah will crouch and begin to moan, followed quite often by growling and hissing.

Do cheetahs meow? ›

Unlike other big cats, including lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars, cheetahs don't roar. They growl when there is danger, and usually only chirp, purr and meow.

Why lions don t like cheetahs? ›

Lions do not hate cheetahs, but they are envious of them because they are slower than their younger cousins. Because of their slowness, they are still unable to chase down rapid prey that cheetahs can easily catch.

Why is there a lot of inbreeding in cheetahs? ›

Cheetahs survived a population collapse more than 12,000 years ago that led to inbreeding and a loss of genetic diversity. As a result, modern cheetahs are prone to disease and have poor sperm quality.

Can a cheetah swim? ›

Cheetahs are usually strong swimmers, but the unusually turbulent water of the flooded river posed a serious threat.

How many baby cheetahs survive? ›

During these first few months she cannot move far or fast and cub mortality is highest. Fewer than one in 10 cubs will survive during this time, as they perish from predation by other large predators such as lions and hyenas, or from injuries.

What is the survival rate of leopard cubs? ›

The cubs normally leave their mother when 12 to 18 months old, but female cubs may stay near their natal range for longer. Cub mortality is high in most areas and can vary between 35% and 90%.

How many leopard cubs survive to adulthood? ›

Allowing for this, the authors estimate that only about 37% of cubs are really reaching adulthood. Still, we can determine how long the cubs we do know about live, and, perhaps more importantly, what happens to those that don't. As we might expect, the most dangerous time for cubs is when they're youngest.

What is the infant mortality rate of a cheetah in the wild? ›

The gestation period for cheetahs is about three months. Females have between two and four cubs in a litter and the cubs stay with their mother until they are about a year old. The mortality rate of cheetah cubs is high. Nearly 83% of cubs die before reaching adolescence.

How long are baby cheetahs blind? ›

Cheetah cubs are completely helpless and blind at birth, however they develop rapidly and within 10 days their eyes have opened and they have begun to crawl around the nest area.

Do leopards love their cubs? ›

Leopards experience a high cub mortality rate and will lose 50% or more off their offspring. Despite female leopards hiding cubs away they are often found by carnivores and killed.

How aggressive are leopards to humans? ›

Of all the 'big game' species in Africa, leopards are the least likely to attack humans. They rely on being in good condition to survive – if they get injured and are unable to hunt, leopards will die of starvation. Consequently, they are cautious animals and, in any confrontational situation, are likely to back down.

Do male leopards stay with their cubs? ›

Male leopards are not known to have any direct role in raising cubs. By securing their territory, they stop unrelated males from getting near to the cubs, thereby playing an indirect protective role. No babysitting (as in wild dogs) or direct contact as is seen in lion prides.

How old is the oldest leopard in the world? ›

Despite claims by the zoo world, across the internet, to have housed the 'world's oldest leopard', we can't find any that compare to our long-lived Leda. The astonishing female was born in 1990 and – after a long and happy retirement at our sanctuary in Shamwari, South Africa – was 30 when she died in 2020.

What is a female leopard called? ›

noun. /ˈlepədes/ /ˈlepərdes/ ​a female leopard This is quite a rare word.

What animal has the highest mortality rate? ›

List of the most deadly animals
Source: CNETSource: BBC News
AnimalHumans killed per year
7 more rows

What is a mother cheetah called? ›

A female cheetah is referred to as a "she-cheetah." While males primarily live in coalitions with their litter mates, a female cheetah lives alone or with her cubs, associating with other cheetahs only during mating.


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