The Union Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav, said on Wednesday that one of the cheetahs relocated to India from Namibia has given birth to four cubs. During “Amrit Kaal,” he described it as a historic milestone in India’s wildlife conservation history.
“I am delighted to share that four cubs have been born to one of the cheetahs translocated to India on 17th September 2022, under the visionary leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi ji (sic),” he tweeted.
The minister commended the entire Project Cheetah team for their tenacious efforts to bring the large carnivore back to India and for their efforts to right a historical ecological wrong.
On September 17 of last year, on his 72nd birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first group of eight spotted cats from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at Kuno in Madhya Pradesh as part of the ambitious Cheetah reintroduction programme. The group consisted of five females and three males.
Forest and wildlife officials in Madhya Pradesh reported that Sasha, one of the Namibian cheetahs, had passed away on Monday owing to a kidney-related condition. On February 18, 12 cheetahs were flown in from South Africa and released into Kuno as part of a second similar translocation.
Due to overhunting and habitat destruction, the cheetah is the only large carnivore that was entirely eradicated from India. In 1947, the last cheetah died in the Koriya district of modern-day Chhattisgarh, and in 1952 the species was officially deemed extinct.