Eight cheetahs being brought from Namibia arrived in India on Saturday. Cheetahs were declared extinct in the country in 1952. Cheetahs will be seen in the country after 70 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release these cheetahs in the Kuno National Park.
The plane carrying five female and three male cheetahs took off from the Namibian capital Hosia. These cheetahs brought from modified Boeing 747 aircraft have radio collars. Cages measuring 114 cm X 118 cm X 84 cm were made in the aircraft to be brought from Namibia to India. After travelling about eight thousand kilometres, these cheetahs landed in Gwalior on Saturday morning. From Gwalior, they will be brought to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh by a special Chinook helicopter. Where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release three of these cheetahs in special enclosures built there.
This is not the first time that attempts are being made to settle cheetahs in the country. Cheetahs were declared extinct in the country in 1952, five years after independence. At the same time, the government announced to make special efforts for the conservation of cheetahs. In the 1970s, talks began to bring Asiatic cheetahs from Iran to India in exchange for Asiatic lions. Given the small population of cheetahs in Iran and the similarities between African cheetahs and Iranian cheetahs, it was decided that African cheetahs would be brought to India. Efforts to bring cheetahs to the country started anew in 2009. For this, the 'African Cheetah Introduction Project in India' project was started. Ten wild sanctuaries of the country were surveyed from 2010 to 2012. After this, Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh was selected for cheetahs.