Home / News / India /  India all set to welcome 8 cheetahs after 70 years

The Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh has geared itself to welcome the spotted cat species or eight cheetahs from Namibia on Saturday morning, after seven decades in India. PM Modi, on his 72nd birthday, will release the cheetahs into an enclosure spread over 10 km in the morning today. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and wildlife experts will also be present there.

These cheetah (5 females and 3 males) are brought in a special cargo flight Boeing -717 and will land in Gwalior. They will be then brought to Kuno National Park in a helicopter.

A forest officer said that on arrival the cheetahs will be first kept in small enclosures for a month and then in bigger ones for a couple of months for acclimatization and familiarization with surroundings. Later, they will be released in the wild. 

The cheetahs that would be released are from Namibia and have been brought under an MoU signed earlier this year. The introduction of cheetahs in India is being done under Project Cheetah, which is the world's first intercontinental large wild carnivore translocation project.

The cheetah is the only large carnivore that got completely wiped out from India, mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss. The country's last spotted cheetah died in Sal forests of Chhattisgarh's Koriya district in 1948 and the wild animal was declared extinct in the country in 1952.

Cheetahs will help in the restoration of open forest and grassland ecosystems in India. This will help conserve biodiversity and enhance the ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration and soil moisture conservation, benefiting society at large. This effort, in line with PM's commitment to environmental protection and wildlife conservation, will also lead to enhanced livelihood opportunities for the local community through eco-development and ecotourism activities.

Cheetahs will also fly in from South Africa to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh in October this year. 

 

(With inputs from agencies)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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