IAF plane to bring 12 more cheetahs from South Africa to India on Feb 18

Public TV English
Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: As many as 12 cheetahs from South Africa will arrive on February 18 in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park after South Africa last month signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation on the re-introduction of cheetahs in India to establish a viable cheetah population here.

An official of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told ANI on condition of anonymity, “Yes, 12 cheetahs from South Africa are expected to arrive on February 18 morning, but the entire schedule for departure from South Africa is still not finalised”.

An official of the Ministry further told ANI that this time, the cheetahs arecoming by Indian Air Force (IAF) plane and not through chartered plane. The first plane will land at Gwalior Airport and from there, the cheetahs will be brought to Kuno National Park by helicopter.

Earlier, eight cheetahs brought from Namibia were released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kuno National Park on the occasion of his birthday on September 17, 2022. Radio collars have been installed on all the cheetahs and are being monitored through satellite. Apart from this, a dedicated monitoring team behind each cheetah keeps monitoring the location for 24 hours.

As per the MoU with South Africa, the initial batch of 12 cheetahs is to be flown from South Africa to India in February 2023. The MoU terms are to be reviewed every five years. Following the import of 12 cheetahs in February, the plan is to translocate a further 12 annually for the next eight to 10 years.

The MoU on the reintroduction of cheetahs in India facilitates cooperation between the parties to establish a viable and secure cheetah population in India; promotes conservation and ensures that expertise is shared and exchanged, and capacity is built to promote cheetah conservation.

Under the ambitious project of the Indian government’s Project Cheetah, the reintroduction of wild species, particularly cheetahs, is being undertaken as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines.

India has a long history of wildlife conservation. One of the most successful wildlife conservation ventures, ‘Project Tiger’, which was initiated way back in 1972, has not only contributed to the conservation of tigers but also to the entire ecosystem.

In 1947-48, the last three cheetahs were hunted by the Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Koriya in present-day Chhattisgarh and the last cheetah was seen at the same time. In 1952, the Government of India declared cheetahs extinct. The Modi government has restored cheetahs after almost 75 years. (ANI)

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