A tiger-faced aircraft is in Africa's Namibia to bring eight cheetahs to India. The cheetahs are being brought from the south-African nation to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
"A special bird touches down in the Land of the Brave to carry goodwill ambassadors to the Land of the Tiger," High Commission of India in Namibia tweeted on Thursday. (September 15)
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) of India also tweeted a meme saying that the country is eagerly waiting for the cheetahs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Madhya Pradesh on September 17, his birthday, and will release the cheetahs at around 10.45 am in Kuno National Park. It is part of the government's efforts to revitalise and diversify India’s wildlife and its habitat.
Ten sites were surveyed between 2010 and 2012 and Kuno National Park was was identified as the best-suited destination.
The national park is 748 sq km in area. It was considered ready for receiving cheetahs with the least management interventions since a lot of investments were made in this protected area for reintroducing Asiatic lions, which is also an endangered species, reported PTI.
Amongst the ten surveyed sites in five central Indian States, Kuno Palpur National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh was rated high on the priority list for considering the introduction of the cheetah because of its suitable habitat and adequate prey base. pic.twitter.com/TwcLf3AGju— MoEF&CC (@moefcc) July 20, 2022
Cheetah was declared extinct from India in 1952. The cheetahs that would be released have been brought under an MoU signed earlier this year. The introduction of cheetahs in India is being done under Project Cheetah, which is world’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project.
Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Surguja (now in Chhattisgarh) is believed to have killed the last three cheetahs in the country in 1947. In 1952, the Indian government officially declared the cheetah extinct in the country.