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Last leopard roaming in larger enclosure meant for cheetahs in Kuno national Park sneaks out into wild

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Bhopal/New Delhi, Nov 26: The sixth and the last leopard roaming in the larger enclosure meant for cheetahs in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP) has come out and sneaked into the wild.

 Last leopard roaming in larger enclosure meant for cheetahs in Kuno national Park sneaks out into wild

Six leopards had entered the acclimatisation enclosures before the arrival of eight cheetahs from Namibia in September. Five of the leopards were evacuated earlier and the last one left the enclosure on Friday, PTI reported.

Two of 8 cheetahs released in acclimatisation enclosure at MP's Kuno National Park: OfficialTwo of 8 cheetahs released in acclimatisation enclosure at MP's Kuno National Park: Official

''The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has informed as per camera traps the last leopard came out of the enclosure on Friday,'' said Kuno National Park 's Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Prakash Kumar Verma told news agency PTI. He said the leopard was roaming in enclosure number six.

At present, cheetahs were not released in this enclosure, sources told news agency PTI. The eight cheetahs were flown into MP from Namibia on September 17 under an ambitious initiative to reintroduce the fastest animal in the country. They were released into the KNP quarantine zone by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier this month, three cheetahs - Obaan, Alton, and Freddie - were shifted from the quarantine area to the acclimatisation enclosure, according to officials. Obaan was released into the larger enclosure, spread over an area of five square kilometres, on November 18 while Elton and Freddie were moved to the acclimatization enclosure on November 5, an official had said, as reported by PTI.

Two cheetahs make their first kill at Kuno National Park Two cheetahs make their first kill at Kuno National Park

The other five cheetahs would also be shifted to the large enclosure this month, officials said.

The eight cheetahs, including five females and three males in the 30-66 month age group, were housed in six 'bomas' (enclosures) after their arrival.

The last cheetah died in India in Koriya district in present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947, and the species was declared extinct from the country in 1952.

(with PTI inputs)

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