Madhya Pradesh: India is getting ready to receive 12 cheetahs from Africa

On May 12, 2012, a male African cheetah by the name of Dark was released into the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderab...

In the months following the transfer of eight of the large cats from neighboring Namibia last year, twelve African cheetahs are scheduled to arrive in India.

On Saturday, a plane carrying five females and seven males will depart from South Africa for a national park in the center of India.

The transfer is a component of a contract South Africa signed in January under which it agreed to send dozens of cheetahs to India over the following ten years.

In India, the Asiatic cheetah went extinct in the late 1940s.

According to experts, their extinction was caused by overly aggressive hunting and habitat loss.

The Indian Supreme Court had ruled in 2020 that African cheetahs, a different subspecies, could be introduced into the nation on an experimental basis at a "carefully chosen location.".

Eight cheetahs were moved from Namibia to Madhya Pradesh, a state in central India, for the Kuno National Park in 2022.

Twelve more big cats have now been added to the group of ones from Namibia.

The cheetahs are anticipated to enter the national park by Saturday noon, according to a wildlife expert connected to the project who spoke to PTI news agency.

The large cats will be quarantined when they arrive, according to Uttam Sharma, director of Kuno National Park. According to Indian law, imported animals must be kept in isolation for a month prior to and following their entry into the nation.

In quarantine since July in South Africa are the 12 cheetahs. However, their translocation was put off for several months while the two nations worked out the specifics of the agreement.

Long quarantine periods for cheetahs have raised concerns from wildlife experts, who believe that it may be detrimental to the animals' health and fitness.

All of the preparations to receive the big cats, according to Mr. Sharma, "had been finished.".

Since the 1950s, India has worked to bring cheetahs back into the country. After the Shah of Iran was overthrown and the negotiations ceased, Iran made an attempt in the 1970s, but it was unsuccessful.

The project's proponents assert that the reintroduction of cheetahs will strengthen local economies and aid in restoring the ecosystems that support big cats.

However, some are concerned that releasing the cheetahs into a park might put them in danger because animal relocation is always risky.

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