One of the eight cheetahs that was relocated to India from Namibia died on Monday after developing a kidney infection in January. Sasha had shown signs of fatigue and weakness during a daily monitoring check and medical examination revealed that she was dehydrated and had kidney-related problems.
A blood test revealed that her creatinine levels were very high, which indicated an infection in the kidney. The other cheetahs in the park are healthy, a press release said.
Sasha, who was part of the first batch of cheetahs flown into Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park, was one of five female cheetahs flown in from Namibia last year as part of an ambitious reintroduction programme.
The cheetah was one of two five-year-old female big cats released in Kuno by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, which also happened to be his birthday, last year.
Last week, two more cheetahs, Elton and Freddie, were released into the wild in Madhya Pradesh. With that, four of the eight cheetahs brought from Namibia have been released into the wild in the park in Sheopur district.
Eight Namibian cheetahs -- five females and three males -- were brought to the KNP as part of a reintroduction programme aimed at reviving the species' population in India, where they became extinct more than 70 years ago. They were first moved to acclimatization enclosures from quarantine bomas (animal enclosures) in November last year.
They were later released into hunting enclosures of the park.
A dozen more cheetahs - seven males and five females - were brought to the KNP from South Africa on February 18 this year. The KNP is now home to 20 cheetahs. South Africa has also signed an agreement with India to introduce dozens of African cheetahs to the Asian country over the next decade.
The world's first intercontinental translocation project aims at reintroducing the big cats in the country.