Over the next ten years, South Africa claims it has inked a contract to bring hundreds of African cheetahs to India.
The first group of 12 cheetahs will be relocated, according to the South African environment agency, early next month. For the following eight to ten years, it intends to send a comparable quantity each year.
The late 1940s saw the extinction of Asian cheetahs in India due to overkill shooting and habitat loss.
Their transfer, according to some conservationists, may not be successful because Indian reserves are close to villages with a high population density.
Informing the Rajya Sabha about the government’s plans, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, “The government has signed a MoU with the Government of the Republic of Namibia… As per Action Plan for introduction of cheetahs every year, depending upon availability of animals and status of the introduced cheetahs, 12-14 individuals are proposed to be brought from South Africa and Namibia or other African countries over the next five years.”
Eight of them, five females and three males, that had been brought from Namibia were released in a dedicated zone in the Kuno National Park on September 17 last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of a reintroduction programme. The cheetahs were named as — named Freddy, Alton, Savannah, Sasha, Obaan, Asha, Cibili, and Saisa.
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