PM Modi releases cheetahs from Namibia into Kuno National Park
PM Narendra Modi launched "Project Cheetah" to mark his birthday in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning. He has released eight cheetahs flown in from Namibia into the park's quarantine enclosures. The big cats landed in Gwalior at 8:00 am on Saturday on a special Boeing 747 passenger plane. They will be released into the wild after a month of quarantine.
- The cheetah—the world's fastest land animal capable of reaching a speed of over 110 kilometers per hour—had gone extinct in India in 1952 due to habitat loss and overhunting.
- It is considered a vulnerable species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, with less than 7,000 cheetahs remaining worldwide—primarily in the African savannas.
📡LIVE Now— PIB India (@PIB_India) September 17, 2022
PM @narendramodi launches project #Cheetahs🐆 at #KunoNationalPark in #MadhyaPradesh
Watch on #PIB's📺
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Here they come💕— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) September 16, 2022
1st of the nine cheetahs from Namibia. Ready to travel to India. pic.twitter.com/HikTNw1MtH
Five female cheetahs aged between two to five years and three male cheetahs between 4.5 to 5.5 years arrived at the Maharajpura airbase operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Gwalior at around 8:00 am. They were taken to Kuno National Park, located around 165 km from Gwalior in Sheopur district, on an IAF Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.
The big cats haven't been tranquilized but are under mild sedation, said Dr. Laurie Marker, the world's leading expert on cheetahs, who was on the plane with the cheetahs from Namibia. Critics have, however, expressed concerns that it might be difficult for the cheetahs to adapt to the new habitat and could clash with other leopards at the national park in significant numbers.
The word 'Korea' for erstwhile state is reproduced as it is, as written by the then Private Secretary to the king who wrote to BNHS for publishing the story. January 9, 1948.— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) September 16, 2022
All cheetah were adult of similar measurements of 6 feet 4-5 inches. All hunted in night.
Meanwhile, the Congress said on Friday that the proposal for this intercontinental translocation was prepared in 2008-09 and approved by PM Manmohan Singh's government. It was, however, stayed by the Supreme Court in 2013 and later given a go-ahead in 2020. In the 1970s, India tried to bring cheetahs from Iran, but the plans were shelved after the Shah was deposed and negotiations stopped.