Twelve cheetahs brought from South Africa to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh
Twelve cheetahs from South Africa were brought to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on 18 February. Of the 12 cheetahs, seven are male and five are female.
An overview of the news
The first group of Namibian cheetahs reached Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on 17 September 2022 under the cheetah reintroduction programme.
The second batch of Cheetahs started their journey to Kuno on 17 February 2023 from Tambo International Airport in Gauteng.
The aircraft landed at Gwalior Air Force Base in Madhya Pradesh on 18 February.
The onward journey was undertaken in Mi-17 helicopters of the Indian Air Force.
Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan released the cheetahs in their quarantine enclosures.
The health of the cheetahs will be checked and then they will be kept in quarantine for a month.
Reintroduction Action Plan
Reintroduction of a species means releasing it in an area where it is capable of surviving.
Under the scheme, 50 cheetahs will be released in various national parks of the country over a period of 5 years.
Extinction of cheetahs
The last cheetah of the country was found dead in the year 1947 in Chhattisgarh and in the year 1952 it was declared extinct in the country.
Habitat loss, conflict with humans, poaching and high susceptibility to diseases are the major causes of their extinction.
About ‘Project Cheetah’
This is a one of its kind project in which a species is being brought out of the country (from South Africa / Namibia) and restored to the country.
The subspecies of the extinct cheetah in India was the Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) and the subspecies of the cheetah being brought back to the country is the African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus).
Research has shown that the genes of both these subspecies are similar.
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