The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Central government why all the cheetahs recently translocated to India from Namibia and South Africa were only sent to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. [Centre for Environment Law WWF `vs Union of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and ors].A bench of Justices BR Gavai, JB Paridwala and Prashant Kumar Mishra lamented that the number of cheetah deaths in such a short span painted a worrying picture of the state of affairs.."Two more deaths last week. Why is this becoming a prestige issue? Please take some positive steps. Also, why were they all put in one place instead of being spread? 40 percent deaths occurring in less than a year does not paint a good picture," Justice Gavai remarked.The Court orally suggested that some of the cheetahs could be shifted to Rajasthan."One of the sanctuaries in Rajasthan (Jawai National Park) is very famous for leopards. 200 kilometers from Udaipur, I believe. Sighting is very good there. Have one more sanctuary there for cheetahs, consider it as a positive bias," he said.Twenty cheetahs were translocated to India from Namibia and South Africa in September 2022, as part of efforts to revive the cheetah population in India.As per media reports, eight cheetahs including three cubs have died at Kuno National Park since March this year. The deaths have been attributed to various infections as well as fights amongst the cheetahs..The issue cropped up today during the hearing a 1995 public interest litigation petition concerning the welfare of animals.Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati assured the bench that the Central government was taking all efforts for the prestigious cheetah translocation project. She added that 50 percent of deaths in translocation projects was a given. Justice Pardiwala, in turn, questioned why the deaths were occurring. "So what is the issue? They are not suited to our climate? They are shown as having had kidney or respiratory issues," he observed..The ASG replied that there were several considerations, and conceded that more can and needs to be done. Suggestions on this aspect are welcome, she said. ASG Bhati, who hails from Rajasthan, also pointed out that when similar projects were implemented in Rajasthan, deaths of tigers occurred within enclosures. .As the hearing drew to a close, Justice Gavai suggested that some of the cheetahs could be shifted to Rajasthan..The matter will be taken up next on August 1. The parties were asked to come with suggestions and updated status reports by the next hearing.