#African Cheetah welcome to India#

Over 70 years after they went extinct from India, eight cheetahs landed once again in India on Saturday (September 17) from Namibia as a part of the project cheetah. The cheetah reintroduction project is the first of its kind under the transcontinental mission.  under which eight Nabian cheetah has been brought to the Indian territory after being extinct for over 70 years.

Return of Cheetah to India

The big cats were flown in on a modified passenger B-747 Jumbo Jet, which took off from Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek and landed in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the cheetahs, on the occasion of his birthday, at KUNO National Park.

Hunting Indian Last Cheetah

India once homed many Asiatic cheetahs. But they were hunted to the extent of extinction.  it is believed that in 1947, only three cheetahs were left and they were too hunted down by maharaja Ramanuja Pratap Singh dev in the forest of Chhattisgarh. 

The Maharaja was already infamous for shooting over 1,150 tigers and reportedly killed the last known Asiatic cheetah in India as well.

Extinction Of Cheetah from India

Yes, The large convoy of Cheetah was completely wiped out because of their use for coursing sport hunting, and overhunting.

This created an imbalance in the food chain as the population of their prey increased. This resulted in an adverse environmental impact. So, India wanted to reintroduce the magnificent creature back to its earlier habitat.

Bringing Back Cheetah after Extinction.

I  would like to share some information about the relocation Cheetah project.

A plan to reintroduce cheetahs in India that were endorsed in 2009 by then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, but was shot down by the Supreme Court in 2013.

The idea was again revived in 2017 by the Narendra Modi government, and the SC cleared the move in 2020 “on an experimental basis”.

This is the first time in the world that a large carnivore will be relocated from one continent to another.

 On board, there were eight Namibian wild cheetahs, five females, and three males who came to India. This is the first project of its kind.

The cheetah reintroduction project in KUNO national park involved creating a 500-hectare predator-proof enclosure for a soft release of this big cat. The Indian Govt plan to reintroduce 500 cheetahs from different part of the world.

Pradnya Giradkar, the country’s first cheetah conservation specialist

I have read about, Pradnya Giradkar who is the country’s first cheetah conservation specialist,. She is also known as the ‘cheetah lady’ .

She has played a key role in the plan to reintroduce this extinct species in India.

In 1952, the cheetah was officially declared extinct from India, after affirming that no more sightings of these majestic animals could be confirmed.

She said that since the cheetah went extinct in India; she has always felt that it should be reintroduced.  

In 2011, she was selected for cheetah conservation training in Namibia. This was organized by international cheetah conservationist Dr. Laurie Marker, who is also the founder and executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF),. They played a key role in bringing cheetahs to India.

Dr. Ranjit Sinh a former Indian civil servant and a known wild life conservationist is credited with proposing and planning Cheetah conservation.

The recent Supreme Court verdict on the reintroduction of African Cheetahs has sparked new hope for Wildlife enthusiasts and conversationalists in India.

African Cheetahs are physically not any different from Asiatic Cheetahs, thus WII predicts they can adjust to the Indian habitat well enough.

It would have been better if we got Asiatic Cheetahs from Iran as initially planned but the rapidly plummeting Cheetah population in Iran, makes it seem they won’t last long there, anyway.

Also, India is not accepting Irani’s counter demand to allow them to take some Asiatic Lions to re-introduce in their lands.

Kuno is the same place where cheetahs once existed. The area has grassland and forest habitats suitable for cheetahs. It is believed that the reintroduction of cheetah will encourage healthy biodiversity, but project cheetah is a big challenge and needs community support.

For the long-term presence of cheetahs, conservation awareness needs to improve among the poor local farmer.

Reintroduce Cheetah on eve of the Birthday

There is an elaborate plan chalked out by the scientists. Under this plan, the cheetah has been released in a large fenced area for adapting to the new environment. All the Cheetahs are fitted with satellite collars to track their movement.

After a short stay, they will be released into a large enclosure to make them familiar with the new environment.   Here they will remain for around a month before being released into the wild.

The return of the Cheetah to India

There are so many benefits to implementing this project.

  • It will restore the historic evolutionary balance for the benefit of all the species.
  • It will also uplift the livelihood of the indigenous forest communities.
  • It will increase tourism as India is the only country where all the six big cat species are found.
  • By saving cheetah, grassland, and grassland-dependent species like Indian wolf, caracal, and endanger Great Bustard, which is on the brink will also be saved.

But bringing cheetahs back from extinction is a huge challenge, however, their prey like deer antelopes, Samber, and the black-buck is found in sufficient numbers in the KUNO forest.  Let us hope for the immense success of this endeavor.

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Categories: infotainment

27 replies

  1. Cheetahs are amazing creatures. I hope they thrive in India and bring joy to the people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Let’s see how things goes for cheetah!
    I’ve heard prices of land around kuno went up. People are planning to open hotels there. This will also give employment opportunity to many people. However there are some factors that needs to be given attention. Like 180 cheetals are taken from Rajasthan. Where cheetals are already in limited numbers(3040). Government needs to find a better alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope this time around there’s no killing of these magnificent animals. Great share.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Greetings my friend! A most interesting post. I see it as a sign that we are advancing that animals we thought extinct, or extinct from a part of the Earth, are coming back…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A good initiative, but I kept thinking – cheetahs vs cheetals.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A very interesting post. I thought cheetahs were exclusive to dessert areas, so I hope they settle in well and the population will grow in India. This is, indeed exciting news. I also didn’t know you had lions in India.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. While working at a zoo, we were fortunate to see a cheetah. Quite amazing cats.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have read several articles on this exciting project, but nowhere has the DNA of the Asian and African cheetahs been mentioned. Is it the same?
    The Iran / India ‘tiff’ is sad, politics really should be put aside when it comes looking after our wild creatures. Surely, it would be better to reintroduce Iranian cheetahs to India?
    Is there any possibility of them meeting up and breeding? Are their distribution areas close?
    Politics: some time ago, Kenya refused entry to elephants from South Africa because of SA’s politics. Silly, wasn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very well express your feeling.
      This is the fact that no mission will be successful without political will. we should think of the benefit to society and the country.
      The scientists are working to make the project viable ..
      Thank you for sharing your feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. New idea.New project.Let us hope for the best.Nice blog on Cheetah.

    Liked by 1 person

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