New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release Cheetahs in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur on Saturday and preparation is underway for reintroducing cheetahs in the country after almost 70 years.
On the occasion of his birthday, PM Modi will release eight cheetahs brought from Namibia in Kuno National Park as part of his efforts to revitalise and diversify the country’s wildlife and habitat. Cheetah Project Chief and Member Secretary National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) SP Yadav said the Prime Minister will release two cheetahs from enclosure number one and after that about 70 meters away, which is the second enclosure PM will release another cheetah.
The remaining Cheetahs will be released in their respective quarantine areas made for them. Yadav said that Cheetahs are being brought in the country from Namibia through a special chartered cargo plane Boeing 747 which will land in India in the morning of September 17.
Speaking to ANI SP Yadav said, “We are bringing cheetahs by a special chartered cargo plane Boeing -747. This is a bigger plane and will come directly to India without refueling and that is why we selected this aircraft. This is a dedicated aircraft and it will have eight cheetahs. Along with crew members, in addition to our officers and some veterinary doctors, wildlife experts, cheetah experts and our three Indian scientists, doctors and officers will be onboard in the plane from Namibia.”
“Laurie Marker, who is a cheetah expert, will be accompanied by three more biologists and all these people will come by chartered flight, special wooden kits have been used to bring Cheetah which is made according to the international standards, which has the facility of air movement,” he said.
Cheetah Project Chief further said that the charter flight with Cheetah is likely to depart from Namibia by today evening and will land in India tomorrow.
Talking about the Cheetahs, he said, “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.
Yadav further said that a special charter Cargo flight of Cheetahs coming from Namibia will now directly land in Gwalior, as earlier it was supposed to land in Jaipur on September 17. “A special charter Cargo flight of Cheetahs coming from Namibia will now land in Gwalior, earlier it was supposed to land in Jaipur on September 17.
After taking them off the chartered flight in Gwalior, all the formalities of customs, immigration, and animal husbandry will be done. Later after doing these formalities, they will be directly taken at Kuno National Park by Air Force helicopter,” said Cheetah Project Chief.
Under the ambitious project of the Indian government-Project Cheetah- the reintroduction of wild species particularly cheetah is being undertaken as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines.
India has a long history of wildlife conservation. One of the most successful wildlife conservation ventures ‘Project Tiger’ which was initiated way back in 1972, has not only contributed to the conservation of tigers but also to the entire ecosystem. In continuation of this, the reintroduction of Cheetah which we have lost recently is one step ahead and a milestone in the history of wildlife conservation in India.