Majestic Cheetahs make a come back in India

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The Cheetahs are well known for their speed and agility but these majestic species became extinct over 70 years ago in India. Now efforts are being taken to reintroduce Cheetahs in India with international cooperation.

Eight Cheetahs from Namibia will be coming to India on September 17 to the Kuno national park in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be there to receive the Cheetahs who are coming from a special cargo plane from Namibia to Jaipur. From Jaipur in a special airforce plane, they will be taken to Gwalior. From there in special transport, they will be taken to Kuno.

When Cheetahs became extinct

After Cheetahs became extinct in India, the reintroduction of Cheetahs under the project translocation of Cheetahs became one of the biggest conservation projects by the Government of India in recent past. Before extinction Cheetahs were present in Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, some parts of Gujarat, and other parts of the country. The main reason for their extinction was due to deforestation. In 1947 three alive male Cheetahs were hunted by one of the Maharajas, which wiped out their population in India.

Cheetahs natural habitat

Cheetahs are mostly found in Africa and some parts of the Middle East. However, their large congregation is in South Africa and Namibia.

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Consideration while selecting Cheetahs for rehabilitation

A lot of care has to be applied while selecting these Cheetahs as they have to be healthy and of reproductive age so that they can breed and be full of vitality. It is also important that they have been selected from natural wild habitats and not raised in zoos. The Cheetahs raised in wild habitats are able to hunt for food but those who are raised in zoos may lack hunting skills. Moreover, they are quarantined one month before transportation as to verify they do not carry any diseases. As they have to travel a long journey of about 8000 km it is very important that they are given the right dose of tranquilizer.

Way forward

It is expected that to have a sustainable population at least there must be 35 Cheetahs. The first installment is coming and by October/November 12 more Cheetahs from South Africa will be coming to India.

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