Exciting News: More Cheetahs Coming to Indian National Parks!

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A dozen cheetahs, comprised of seven males and five females, are set to arrive in Madhya Pradesh next month. The central government has confirmed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries for cooperation in the reintroduction of cheetahs.

India has eagerly awaited the signing of this MoU to bring in more big cats to supplement the initial batch of eight cheetahs from Namibia last year. The South African cheetahs range in age from 18 months to 4 years.

The big cat population in India was completely eradicated in the early 1950s, largely due to over-hunting and habitat loss. As part of the ‘Action Plan for Reintroduction of Cheetah in India’, a total of 50 cheetahs will be brought in from African countries to various national parks over a 5-year period.

According to a statement from the Environment Ministry, an initial group of 12 cheetahs will be transported from South Africa to India in February 2023. The cats will join those from Namibia in 2022.

S P Yadav, additional director of Project Tiger and member secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), mentioned that the exact date for bringing in the cheetahs has not been finalized. An Indian delegation will be sent to South Africa in early February to give the go-ahead for the transport.

Yadav noted that while the protocol for bringing in the second batch of cheetahs remains the same, improvements have been made to the existing bomas based on recent observations. These enhancements include constructing a gallery around the acclimatization enclosure to provide food and water to the big cats discreetly.

Yadav also reported that a female cheetah named Sasha, who was suffering from kidney problems, is recovering well.

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