India reintroduces cheetahs after they went extinct 70 years ago

India Iintroduced eight cheetahs from Namibia to one of its national parks on Saturday after declaring the species extinct in 1952.

The cheetahs include three adult male and five female cheetahs, all between 2 and 5.5 years old, according to the Cheetah Conservation Fund. They arrived in a tiger-themed plane and were released in Kuno National Park, home to a population of 33 species of mammals, 206 species of birds, 14 species of fish, 33 species of reptiles and 10 species. of amphibians, according to its website.

“A long wait is over, cheetahs have a home in India at Kuno National Park,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted along with photos of the big cats.

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Photo on Monday, May 26, 2014 shows a 7-year-old male Asiatic cheetah named “Koushki” at the Miandasht Wildlife Sanctuary in Jajarm, northeast Iran. Iran is leading a campaign to save the Asiatic cheetah that has disappeared across South and Central Asia, except for less than 100 remaining in Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Vahid Salemi

“The Cheetah project with India is something every Namibian can be proud of. We are helping to create a conservation model that can be used by other African nations and former range states around the world. to save a species,” Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia Peter Katjavivi said in a statement. “As a nation, we help keep the feline icon of speed and grace alive, for the benefit of our planet, by earning our title, Cheetah Capital of the World.”

India previously used captive cheetahs to hunt antelope across the country, which was a major pastime due to the cultural and religious significance of the antelope. According to Ambica Singh Deo, granddaughter of Royal Family Patriarch Raja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo, who is credited with killing the last three cheetahs in the country, cheetahs were also hunted because they were “eat eaters”. men”.

“The goal of our project is to reverse the course of cheetahs, slowing and then arresting their decline, while increasing the biodiversity and health of Indian ecosystems,” said the Dean of the Wildlife Institute of India, Dr. Jhala Yadvendradev. “Bringing back a top predator restores the historical evolutionary balance, causing cascading effects, leading to better management and restoration of wildlife habitat, to the benefit of all species, and will improve the livelihoods of poor forest communities.”

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Indian High Commissioner Shri Prashant Agrawal called the project a “world first” at a press conference on Saturday.

Worldwide, there are fewer than 7,500 cheetahs left in the wild, according to the CCF.

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