Cheetahs brought from South Africa to India have reached Gwalior airport. These cheetahs have been brought from Air Force cargo aircraft Globemaster. From here these cheetahs will be taken by helicopter to Kuno National Park.
Bhopal: Today is a big day for India as 12 South African cheetahs lands in MP’s Gwalior. 12 cheetahs being brought from South Africa have reached India. The Indian Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft has landed at Gwalior Airport carrying these cheetahs at around ten in the morning. From here these cheetahs will be taken to Kuno by helicopter. Where they will be kept in a small enclosure for a few days and then after being adapted to the environment here, they will be released in the open forest. On reaching Kuno, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan himself will welcome these cheetahs and release them in the enclosure.
For the first time in history, South Africa will be translocating 12 cheetahs to India as part of an initiative to expand the cheetah meta-population & to reintroduce the mammals in the country.#SACheetahstoIndia pic.twitter.com/HvKpEHUDBa
— Environmentza (@environmentza) February 17, 2023
According to officials associated with the Cheetah Project, these cheetahs being brought from South Africa include seven males and five female cheetahs. Earlier in September 2020, eight cheetahs were brought from Namibia. These cheetahs were released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself at Kuno National Park on 17 September on the occasion of his birthday. In such a situation, after the arrival of 12 new cheetahs, the population of cheetahs in Kuno National Park will increase to 20.
Significantly, in the year 1952, cheetahs were declared extinct from the Indian soil. The Government of India had prepared a plan to bring cheetahs from African countries in the past with the aim of balancing the ecosystem.
In this sequence, on the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, once again after 71 years, the land of India is being populated with cheetahs. It is believed to be the beginning of a new era in the history of wildlife of the country.
Ambitious project of Government of India
The Government of India has prepared an ambitious project to once again settle the land of the country with cheetahs. The name of this project has also been given as ‘Project Cheetah’. Under this project, cheetahs are being brought to India under the guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for the conservation of wild species especially cheetahs. So far 20 cheetahs have been brought to India under this project. Government of India has already signed an MoU with South Africa under this project.
According to officials associated with the project, all 12 African cheetahs being brought from South Africa are equipped with radio collars. They have been brought from there with a radio collar. This will enable regular monitoring of them. Officials told that after bringing these cheetahs from South Africa to Kuno National Park, their health will be checked.
All these cheetahs will remain in quarantine for a month. On the other hand, when they become friendly to the environment here, they will be left in the open forest. Cheetahs brought from Namibia were also kept in quarantine.