Eight cheetahs from Namibia will be reaching India September 17 morning. The wild cats are returning to India 70 years after they were declared extinct in the country. The addition of these cheetahs will make India home to 5 'big cats': Asiatic lion, Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, snow leopard, and now the cheetah.
As these wild creatures belong to the animal family Felidae, they are all technically cats. But, the term "Big Cat" is mostly used to refer to five cats with the genus Panthera (lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, snow leopard) and two non-pantherine cats (cheetah and cougar).
Here's a detailed look at these seven Big Cats.
Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Koriya, Madhya Pradesh, is said to have killed the last three cheetahs in India in 1947. In 1952, India declared cheetahs officially extinct. The return of these big cats after 70 years, therefore, marks a milestone in the wildlife conservation efforts in the country. The five female and three male cheetahs are now responsible for giving India a new big cat population.