INDIA: On the special occasion of PM Modi’s Birthday, India is reintroduced to the eight big cats. The cheetahs are airlifted from Namibia. The rare species are retained at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. They are brought by Gwalior Air Force Station.
PM Modi commenced his speech, on the historic event of successfully aiming ‘Project Cheetah’, saying, “Nature and environment, animals and birds, for India is not just about sustainability and security. For us, it is also the basis of our sensibility and spirituality. Today, India of the 21st century is giving a message to the world that economy & ecology are not conflicting fields.”
Further, he went on to thank the government of Namibia, for being kind enough to allow India to bring home the extinct animal.
According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), an international non-profit organisation based in Namibia dedicated to saving the fastest land animal, the five female cheetahs are between two and five years old, while the males are between 4.5 years old. and 5.5 years
The Nation’s leader said, “We declared cheetah extinct in 1952, but for decades no constructive efforts were made to reintroduce them. Project Cheetah, under which the cheetahs were reintroduced in the country after they became extinct seven decades ago, is our endeavour towards environment and wildlife conservation,”
Modi added, saying, “21st century India is giving a message to the whole world that economy and ecology are not conflicting fields.”
Modi urged the people of India to wait for a few more months to witness the fastest land animal at Kuno. He said, “The citizens will have to show patience, wait for a few months to see the cheetahs released in the Kuno National Park. Today, these cheetahs have come as our guests, unaware of this area. We have to give a few months to these cheetahs too to make Kuno National Park their home.”
The national park is located in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh, which is about 165 km from Gwalior. Kuno Park was chosen as a home for its abundant prey and pastures. However, critics have warned that the cheetahs may have difficulty adapting to the habitat and may clash with significant numbers of leopards already present.
The “African Cheetah Introduction Project in India” was created in 2009 and the plan to introduce the big cat by November last year at KNP was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, cheetahs are considered vulnerable, with fewer than 7,000 cheetahs left worldwide, mostly in the African savannahs.
The animals will be kept under surveillance 24*7, and Radio collars surveillance so that the cheetahs could be monitored through satellite. There will be a responsible monitoring team rear each cheetah, which will keep an eye on their movements around the clock.
No greater gift for Madhya Pradesh than this on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said this morning, calling the ‘historic’ ferrying of the Cheetah from Namibia to the Kuno National Park the biggest wildlife incident of the century. “This will rapidly boost tourism in the state, especially in the Kuno-Palpur region,” he said.