• India and South Africa have finally signed a long-pending agreement to translocate 12 cheetahs to India, the Environment Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
  • The cheetahs will be transported to India by February-end and reintroduced at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where eight such cats were brought from Namibia in September last year under a similar agreement.
  • The initial batch of cheetahs from South Africa will be followed by transport of batches of 12 annually for the next “eight to 10 years”, the Ministry added.
  • “A batch of animals has been under quarantine and ready to travel. A team from India will go to South Africa, choose the animals to be brought and accompany them.
  • In India, our enclosures to host the animals are ready,” S.P. Yadav, Director, National Tiger Conservation Authority, and a key official involved with the translocation project, told The Hindu.
  • “The Memorandum of Understanding on Reintroduction of Cheetah to 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 built, to promote cheetah conservation,” the Ministry said.
  • The cheetahs from South Africa were expected to arrive in India last year but were delayed as a final deal had been held up, The Hindu reported in August.
  • In December, the Press Trust of India reported that a dozen cheetahs quarantined in South Africa for more than four months “had lost their fitness” in their wait to be flown to the Kuno National Park.
  • Eight cheetahs, including five females, were flown from Windhoek, Namibia to Gwalior, followed by a helicopter ride to the grasslands of Kuno Palpur last September.
  • They were released into dedicated enclosures by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Thereafter, five of the cheetahs began hunting on their own and have largely adapted to the local environment.


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