Cheetahs likely to reach India by end of September
New Delhi, Aug 23: India is just one step closer to bringing back the world's fastest animal, which has been extinct in the country since 1952. The first batch of Cheetahs is expected to reach Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh by the end of September.
Reportedly, all formalities with Namibia have been completed and the cheetahs were being prepped for the translocation.
There were earlier speculations that the cheetahs will arrive in the state by August 15 and arrangements such as setting up an enclosure have been made at the KNP.
However, administrative issues, as well as the presence of leopards near the soft release enclosure in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno-Palpur National Park (KNP) meant for cheetahs, delayed the Cheetah reintroduction plan.
Around eight Cheetahs from Namibia and 12 from South Africa have been identified for the first batch of Cheetahs that authorities are hoping to locate in Kuno in the coming months.
In another development, India is said to have rejected some of the Cheetahs being brought to Madhya Pradesh for relocation, as they were captive-bred and cannot hunt.
The Kuno national park is spread over an area of over 750 sq km and is capable of handling cheetahs, as it has maintained a large prey base of cheetal, sambhar, blue bull, wild boar and langoor among others.
The country's last spotted cheetah died in Chhattisgarh, undivided Madhya Pradesh in 1947, and the animal was declared extinct in the country in 1952.
A few years ago, the WII prepared a cheetah reintroduction project.