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Business News/ News / India/  India to get more Cheetahs over the years: Project chief Laurie Marker
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India to get more Cheetahs over the years: Project chief Laurie Marker

India is working with South Africa and Namibia for the reintroduction of more Cheetahs in India. Namibia is going to send more over the years, said Laurie Marker, the executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund who coordinated the translocation of cheetahs from Namibia to India

Laurie Marker, executive director of Cheetah Conservation Fund, is coordinating the translocation of cheetahs from Namibia to India. (HT)Premium
Laurie Marker, executive director of Cheetah Conservation Fund, is coordinating the translocation of cheetahs from Namibia to India. (HT)

After translocating eight cheetahs to India, the nation is working with South Africa and Namibia to bring more cheetahs over the years, executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund Laurie Marker told news agency ANI. Lauri played a major role in the translocation of cheetahs to India.

Also Read: India all set to welcome 8 cheetahs after 70 years

Following the arrival of eight Cheetahs from Namibia to India on Saturday, Laurie said, "Since its extinction, you can only get animals from somewhere else. This is the only population of cheetahs large enough to use for reintroduction and to establish a population, we must bring in more. India is working with South Africa for more and Namibia is also going to send more over the years."

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi releases 8 Cheetahs in MP's Kuno National Park. See photos

Marker has been a key advisor to the Indian government on the cheetah relocation projects for 12 years.

"Saving the cheetah means changing the world. Yesterday, we started this process with the cheetah touching Indian soil after 70 years of extinction. Their extinction was human-caused, and their survival is in the humans' hands", she added.

Answering a question on Cheetah's adaptability to the Indian habitat, Lauri Marker highlighted the history of the country as being home to this fastest animal on land.

Also Read: When people can see cheetahs at Kuno National Park? PM Modi drops a hint

She also stressed the fact that the government was planning the cheetah translocation since it was declared extinct. A firm step was taken when a team of specialists from the government and Forestry department presented a plan in 2009. She expressed her hope for the success of the plan and also accepted that there are chances of disappointment as well.

As the eight cheetahs were released in the forest of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, Indian High Commission in Namibia also tweeted to applaud the effort of the team from Namibia in the project.

Cheetahs were released at two points in Kuno National Park by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. The PM also interacted with Cheetah Mitras, Cheetah Rehabilitation Management Group, and students at the venue.

Also Read: The last cheetahs of India: A look at how last of lots were hunted | Watch unseen videos

In his address, the Prime Minister also thanked Namibia for helping India in achieving the aim. He called this move an "important and historic" moment.

Project Cheetah, the world's first carnivore relocation project

It is worth noting Project Cheetah is one of a kind animal translocation project, as this is the first time a large carnivore is being moved from one continent to another and reintroduced to the wild. But, cheetahs will take around five to ten years to gel up in the habitat.

Calling man-animal conflict a potential risk to Cheetahs, Laurie said the government is working with the communities around the park and the big cats may take five to ten years to establish themselves in India and erratic weather will continue to be a major factor.

The man-animal conflict was one of the main reasons behind the extinction of the cheetah in India. It continues to be a threat even now.

India's endeavour to save its wildlife

With this reintroduction project, the government aims to protect the environment and bring sustainability. Apart from the cheetah, the government has been working to protect several wildlife animals in the country.

There has been a significant amount of work done by the Indian government to increase the tiger population. Now, India has more than 50 Tiger Reserve in 18 states. The country is home of around 75% tiger population. The country achieved the target of doubling its tiger population four years ahead of its set deadline of 2022. The Tiger Population in India has grown from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018.

Just like tiger population, there has been an increasing trend in the population of Asiatic Lions in the country. The population has increased from 523 in 2015 to 674 now. Talking about leopards in India, their population has been 60 % increase in their population to 12,852 leopards.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 18 Sep 2022, 04:40 PM IST
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