India To Become Home To Cheetahs After 7 Decades

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India To Become Home To Cheetahs After 7 Decades

| Updated: August 14, 2022 12:06

India is about to welcome cheetahs, the large carnivores that went extinct in India in 1952, with a team of experts working upon the translocation that shall occur this month, mostly.
The relocation is all set to go, only awaiting an agreement between India and South Africa, which is in its final stage with signatures pending from the authorities. Trustworthy sources reveal that the animals won’t arrive in India before its 75th Independence Day on 15th August.

How will they be transported?

Y V Jhala, the Dean of Wildlife Institute of India(WII) shared that the cheetahs are to be airlifted from Namibia and South Africa and will be brought to either Jaipur or Gwalior airports, which are in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh respectively. The two states have been selected considering their proximity to their new home in Kuno National Park. Another source also confirmed the same thing and explained that cheetahs would be brought on a chartered plane with veterinarians from South Africa and Naminia onboard. The animals will be transferred from one of the airports from Jaipur or Gwalior to Kuno via choppers.
Back up arrangements have also been made, where ambulances are kept ready in case the animals need to be transported along the road. The entire travel time is predicted to be around 12 hours.

Will the animals be tranquilized / quarantined?

According to Jhala, the Cheetahs will be given mild tranquilization to keep them awake during the duration of the journey. But, S P Yadav , member secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority and additional director general, Project Tiger, said that the animals won’t be tranquilized even mildly as it can be detrimental to the animal’s health. He said that a sedative will only be given to the cheetahs if they show any sign of agitation or abnormal behavior.
Tranquilizers or sedatives are injected into the animals to curb their anxiety, stress and agitation. It makes the animals calm but drowsy.
Both Jhala and Yadav agree that the cheetahs will be kept in 30 days of quarantine at Kuno national park.
Yadav also shared that two experts from South Africa and Namibia will come and stay with the animals during this period.

Why Kuno National Park in MP?

Wildlife experts agreed that Kuno-Palpur National Park in India’s Madhya Pradesh would be an appropriate landscape for cheetahs. Kuno national park which was established in 1981, is spread over an area of 748.,76 square km. It is a part of the Kuno National Park division which has an area of 1235.39 area under its coverage. Kuno park is home to tigers, jackal, chinkara and leopards. It has the capacity to contain populations of all four of India`s big cats, the tiger, the leopard, the Asiatic lion and also the cheetah, all four of which have coexisted within the same habitats historically. The experts from South Africa and Namibia visited the Kuno National park and were very impressed with the place.

India MoUs with Namibia and SA

Albi Modise, Spokesperson, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa said that discussions are ongoing between the two countries, which shall soon lead to the signing of MoUs. The discussions largely consist of the parameters within which the animals are to be translocated.
Officials share that the Memorandum of Understanding between India and Namibia regarding the translocation of cheetahs has already been signed. However, the one between India and South Africa still remains to be signed by the President of South Africa. It has been finalized from India’s side already.

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