New Delhi, Sept 17: After around seven decades of being declared extinct in India, as many as eight Namibian cheetahs were today released into a special enclosure in the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Project Cheetah, under which the cheetahs were reintroduced in the country after they became extinct seven decades ago, is our endeavour towards environment and wildlife conservation,” said Modi.
Under Project Cheetah (world’s first inter-continental translocation of cheetahs), India has brought five females, aged between two and five years, and three male cheetahs, aged between 4.5 years and 5.5 years, from Namibia in a customized Boeing 747-700 jumbo aircraft. The special plane landed at Gwalior’s Maharajpura airbase, operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) this morning.
In the year 1952, the Jawarhal Lal Nehru government declared the world’s fastest land animal extinct. Due to their use for coursing, sports hunting, overhunting, and habitat loss, the felines were declared extinct.
According to IFS Praveen Kaswan, the last three cheetahs of the country were hunted by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo, King of Koriya (Chhattisgarh) in 1947.