PM Modi Releases 8 Cheetahs Into Kuno National Park In MP


The first batch of cheetahs, translocated from Namibia to India, has been released into the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh in the presence of Prime Minister Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the release of the spotted creatures at the Kuno National Park in an ambitious project to reintroduce the big cats after they were driven to extinction there decades ago.

The cheetahs (5 females and 3 males) have been brought from Africa’s Namibia as part of ‘Project Cheetah’ and the government’s efforts to revitalise and diversify the country’s wildlife and habitat.

The eight cheetahs were brought in a cargo aircraft in Gwalior as part of an inter-continental cheetah translocation project. Later, the Indian Air Force choppers carried the cheetahs to Kuno National Park from Gwalior Air Force Station.

Cheetah was officially declared extinct in India, in 1952. Under the Species Recovery Program of the Government of India, species that become extinct are restored in their historic natural habitat.

Cheetahs will help in the restoration of open forest and grassland ecosystems in India and will help conserve biodiversity and enhance the ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration and soil moisture conservation.

Earlier, SP Yadav, Project Cheetah chief, said that PM Modi will release two cheetahs from enclosure number one and after that about 70 meters away, at the second enclosure, the PM will release another cheetah.

“Cheetah is said to be the fastest animal. It runs at a speed of 100-120 km per hour. The habitat that has been selected in Kuno is very beautiful and ideal, where there are large grasslands, small hills, and forests and it is very suitable for cheetahs. Heavy security arrangements have been made in Kuno National Park. Arrangements have been done to prevent poaching activities,” he said.

“Radio collar has been installed in all the cheetahs and will be monitored through satellite. Apart from this, there will be a dedicated monitoring team behind each cheetah who will keep monitoring location for 24 hours,” Yadav added.

The remaining cheetahs will be released in their respective quarantine areas made for them.

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

*With inputs from ANI