The cheetah will reappear in India on Saturday, September 17, which also happens to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, more than 70 years after it went extinct there. As part of India’s Rs 90-crore cheetah introduction project, eight African cheetahs from Namibia – five females and three males aged 4-6 years – were captured in the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, a distance of 8,000 km from the Indian Ocean. will be taken, where they will be released.
This year, India was to receive 20 African cheetahs – eight from Namibia and another 12 from South Africa – but environment ministry officials have said that all procedures on the Indian side to bring in South African cheetahs have been exhausted. The approval of the African government is yet to come.
For the first time in history, a giant carnivore will be transferred from one continent to another.
The cheetah has a long history in the nation; In the Chaturbunj Nala in Mandasura, Madhya Pradesh, a Neolithic cave art of a “slender spotted cat being hunted” was discovered. It is believed that the Sanskrit word chitraka, meaning “speckled”, is where the name “cheetah” first came from.
The population of cheetahs used to be quite common in India. The animal was discovered from Kathiawar in the west to Deogarh in the east and from Jaipur and Lucknow in the north to Mysore in the south.