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8 Namibian Cheetahs Return to Indian Soil After 70 years

8 Namibian Cheetahs Return to Indian Soil After 70 years: The cheetahs have returned to India, where they had been extinct domestically for more than 70 years. Prime Minister Modi hailed the cheetahs’ release into Indian wildlife as a momentous day. The big cats were transported by helicopter to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh from Namibia’s capital, Windhoek.

8 Namibian Cheetahs Return to Indian Soil After 70 years: Highlights

  • On the occasion of his 72nd birthday, Indian Prime Minister Modi released eight big cats into the wild.
  • Cheetahs were reintroduced into the Indian fauna in Kuno-Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh (KPNP).
  • They have returned to India after 70 years of being extinct from the country.
  • Asiatic cheetahs once lived in India, but the country declared the species extinct in 1952.
  • This arrival of cheetahs from Namibia is considered the biggest wildlife translocation project in history.
  • These cheetahs were chosen based on an evaluation of their health, wild nature, hunting abilities, and capacity to contribute genetically.
  • To track the cheetahs’ whereabouts through satellite, radio collars have been fitted to every one of them. They will also be watched over for the next 24 hours.

About the 8 cheetahs

  • The cheetahs were housed in bomas at the Namibian Cheetah Conservation Fund Center in Otjiwarongo. [Bomas is a small fenced camp in which animals are kept temporarily for treatment of quarantine]
  • Every single one of them has received vaccinations, been given a satellite collar, and has gone through extensive health check-ups.

Facts about Cheetah

  • They are listed in Schedule II of the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972.
  • African Cheetah
    • IUCN status: Vulnerable
    • CITES status: Appendix-I
    • Distribution: Found all over the African continent
    • Physical Characteristics: They are bigger as compared to Asiatic Cheetah.
  • Asiatic Cheetah
    • IUCN status: Critically Endangered
    • CITES status: Appendix-I
    • Distribution: 40-50 found only in Iran
    • Physical Characteristics: They are smaller and paler than the African cheetah. They have a long neck, a smaller head, and more fur.

Kuno National Park

  • Established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary, Kuno National Park is a national park in Madhya Pradesh, India.
  • In 2018, the state government changed the wildlife sanctuary’s designation to Kuno National Park.
  • It belongs to the ecoregion of Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous woods.

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