Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeNews Reports12 more Cheetahs to be brought to India from South Africa, IAF's C-17 Globemaster...

12 more Cheetahs to be brought to India from South Africa, IAF’s C-17 Globemaster aircraft to land on 18 February carrying them

As per the Action Plan for Cheetah Introduction in India, yearly 10-12 cheetahs are expected to be brought from African countries for the next 5 years at least.

On 16th February 2023, Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change announced the relocation of twelve Cheetahs from South Africa to India. The cheetahs will be brought to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park on February 18, 2023. This will be the second batch of cheetahs brought to India, after 8 cheetahs brought from Namibia were released in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on 17 September 2022.

The minister tweeted that the 8 cheetahs who came to India in September 2022 have adapted well, and India is now ready to welcome 12 more cheetahs from South Africa.

 A C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the Indian Air Force will bring the 12 cheetahs, which include 7 males and 5 females, from South Africa. According to Project Cheetah additional director SP Yadav, The military transport aircraft took off for South Africa from Hindon Air Force Station today at 6 AM. The aircraft is expected to land at 12:30 PM (South Africa time) at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johansaberg. The plane will take off tomorrow with the cheetahs, and it will land at Gwalior airport on at around 10:00 AM on 18 February. From Gwalior, they will be taken to Kuno National Park in Mi-17 helicopters.

During the intercontinental translocation experiment, a delegation of cheetah experts, veterinarians, and top authorities will be with these cheetahs. Upon their arrival in India, all 12 cheetahs will be placed in specially designed enclosures in Kuno National Park for the duration of the necessary quarantine period, during which the animals will be closely watched.

A consultation session including worldwide cheetah specialists, biologists, veterinarians, and forest authorities has been scheduled for February 20th at Kuno National Park to move India’s ambitious Cheetah Introduction project ahead. The workshop’s outcomes will pave the path for better cheetah management and will aid in the successful establishment of cheetah metapopulations in India.

According to a press release by PIB, Bhupender Yadav stated that reintroducing the Cheetah to India will contribute to the restoration of the country’s natural heritage. He also expressed gratitude to the Defence Ministry and the Indian Air Force for their unwavering support for the relocation. He also discussed the ministry’s numerous efforts in animal conservation, such as Project Cheetah, the LIFE concept and its sustainability, Green growth projects such as Green Credit, Mishti – for mangrove protection, and Gaj Utsav, among others.

As per the Action Plan for Cheetah Introduction in India, yearly 10-12 cheetahs are expected to be brought from African countries for the next 5 years at least. In this backdrop, the Government of India began bilateral discussions with the Republic of South Africa in 2021 to collaborate on cheetah conservation. The discussions were successfully finished in January 2023 with the signing of an Agreement with the Republic of South Africa. The Agreement provides for the translocation of a first batch of 12 cheetahs (7 males and 5 females) from South Africa to India.

Cheetahs were declared extinct in India in 1952

The last three cheetahs in India were shot in the Sal (Shorea robusta) woods of Koriya District, Chhattisgarh State, in 1947. The major reasons for the cheetah’s extinction in India were large-scale capture of animals from the wild for coursing, bounty, and sport hunting, substantial habitat modification, and a concomitant fall in prey base. Cheetahs were declared extinct in India in 1952.

Following this, efforts had started to reintroduce Cheetahs from other countries. But the efforts didn’t yield results for decades. But after renewed efforts under the Narendra Modi government, the project saw success and 8 cheetahs were introduced last year in India.

Narendra Modi government brought cheetahs back

On September 17, 2022, eight cheetahs were brought from Namibia to India and released in Kuno National Park by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in a historic first wild-to-wild intercontinental relocation. Following the obligatory quarantine time, the cheetahs were gradually allowed into the bigger habitat. In terms of natural behavior, bodily condition, activity pattern, and general fitness, all eight individual animals are doing exceptionally well. Cheetahs are all doing well and hunting natural prey.

While IAF’s C-17 Globemaster aircraft is bringing the second batch, the first batch was translocated by a special Boeing 747-400 aircraft. As the chartered plane had a tiger face painted on it, several media reports had claimed that it was specially painted for the flight. But it was wrong, as it was a tiger face, not a cheetah, and it was painted several years ago when the aircraft was owned by a Russian airline. The Siberian tiger face was painted on it to create awareness about the need to protect the tigers and the environment as a whole, in collaboration with Amur Tiger Centre. However, the plane’s interior was modified to transport the cheetahs, including the removal of all economy-class seats.

As the Globemaster is a transport aircraft, it will not require much modification to accommodate the cages of the cheetahs.

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -