Cheetahs from Namibia hog limelight on PM Modi’s birthday

On the morning of Modi’s birthday on Sept 17, eight cheetahs will be relocated from Namibia to India, as part of rehabilitation efforts.

Anjali Bhatia

Anjali Bhatia

The Statesman


Cheetahs from Namibia hog limelight on PM Modi’s B’day

September 13, 2022

NEW DELHI – On the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the biggest attraction and the centre of the discussion are the cheetahs being brought to India from Namibia. On the morning of the Prime Minister’s birthday on September 17, cheetahs will be brought directly to Jaipur by special aircraft and from Jaipur to Kuno Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh by helicopter.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav said that the relocation of wild animals like cheetah, which has become extinct in a country, from one continent to another is the first project in the world. Cheetahs will continue to be brought to India for the next five years. There is also going to be an agreement with South Africa on this matter soon.

Yadav said for the maintenance of the cheetahs, all international standards are being followed on their health, food and a favourable climate. The minister said that our ministry is taking forward the vision and thinking of the Prime Minister regarding the environment and wildlife.

Yadav, along with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shiv Raj Chouhan, visited Kumon National Park on Sunday to take stock of all the preparations so that there is no last-minute gap.

Giving detailed information about the rehabilitation of cheetahs in India, Additional Director General of Wildlife Institute, Dr Satyaprakash Yadav said that the project to bring back the completely extinct cheetahs in India in 1948 was going on since 1955 but 74 After years, now cheetahs are making a comeback.

Yadav said that on September 16, five female and three male cheetahs from Namibia were brought to India by special aircraft in cages under the supervision of animal experts. Helipads have been made in the Kunon Sanctuary, they will be brought and released in their special enclosures. And for about thirty days, they will be kept in Quarantine, continuously Experts will monitor whether they can adapt to the environment and climate here, how they behave in unfamiliar places and how their health is.

They will then be released in a one-square-kilometre enclosure. And in the third phase, they will be able to roam anywhere in the whole Kun. That’s why all the dogs around have been vaccinated. SP Yadav said that several teams of wildlife experts from Namibia and South Africa have visited Kuno National Park. And in his report, he said that he is completely satisfied with India’s preparedness. At present, India has the best facilities of international standards for cheetahs. Officials of the Indian Forest Department have claimed that India has ten times more facilities for cheetahs than Namibia.

Clearance was required from 22 national and international departments to bring cheetahs from Namibia to India, all these formalities have been completed. Now, the wait is on for their arrival. SP Yadav said that there is a budget of 91 crore for Project Cheetah Five Year Plan and Indian Oil is giving financial support in this. Preparations were being made to settle cheetahs in Kunon National Park for a long time. The people around have been given complete information about cheetahs. Although cheetahs do not have any mutual conflict with humans, the villagers have been told that if any cheetah reaches their village by mistake, they immediately inform the forest department. If their animals are made their prey, they will be compensated.

The Union Minister said that many elements work for the balance of the environment, humans, wildlife, water creatures, flowers, plants, trees, herbs, animals, birds, rivers, etc. The arrival of cheetahs to India after about 74 years is bound to boost tourism. Livelihood and ecology will also get a boost.

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