Finally after 12 long years, India is about to celebrate the arrival of cheetahs in the nation again.
Because of Project Cheetah, eight cheetahs in which there are 5 males and 3 females will be brought from the forests of Africa to India.
Why project cheetah?
Most of us have not ever seen any cheetah in our entire life because they got extinct from India by independence.
But the saddest part of human activities were directly involved in the extinction of cheetahs from India’s deep forests.
The rising population, regular deforestation and unrestricted hunting of animals by the royals were directly blamed for the extinction of cheetahs from India.
It strange and cruel to hear that our greed was too high that the fastest animal in the world running with the speed of 120KM/H could not outrun the bullets shots by the stupid us.
And by whom actually, Huh? The ones who worship tiger and lion in Durgapuja?
Thus, they had to pay off their lives for the sake of the enjoyment of royals.
This gradually pushed cheetahs close to extinction by the independence.
Particularly, sometime in 1947, shots fired by the Maharaja of Kowari are suspected to kill the last three of the left cheetahs.
Congratulations as we did finally extinct a whole animal kingdom.
So, finally in 1952, the big cat and the rulers of forests-cheetahs were announced extinct from India.
But India was determined to bring back the cheetahs to the nation’s forest by any means.
And here is where project cheetah came to thought.
Who signed the pact of project cheetah?
Attempts to re introduce Asian cheetahs were failed as Iran rejected the proposal of India to provide Asian cheetahs to Indian forests.
And now, Iran has only 20 Asian cheetahs left. So, it’s somehow impossible to bring back Asian cheetahs again in India via Iran.
That’s why, India requested from the government of Africa.
Africa has a good amount of cheetahs that counts for 7000 cheetahs in total.
These cheetahs are especially found in the forests of Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
And the request was granted. After 12 long years, the governments of Namibia and India signed a pact of sending cheetahs from there to here by the project cheetah.
Namibia has granted and promised to send 50 cheetahs to India over the next 5 years.
Arrival of the cheetahs
Namibia will send 8 cheetahs, 5 males and 3 females, to Jaipur in a special Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
They will cover a distance of about 8,000 kms in over 20 hours.
But it’s not Jaipur, where the cheetahs will stay or be released.
From Jaipur, the cheetahs will be flown in a helicopter to Kuno national park in Madhya Pradesh, MP, India.
They will be released by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, himself on his birth anniversary on September 17.
How big is Kuno National park for cheetahs ?
Kuno national park is one of the most closely observed national park in India.
It’s a 748 square kilometer protected area that spreads from 200 miles south of Delhi.
Especially for the project cheetah, a 12 kilometer long distance has been erected to keep predators away from the park.
This fence area can easily house the maximum of 21 cheetahs at a time.
How did the project cheetah work ?
The project faced a last moment glitch when India refused to take 3 of the 8 cheetahs.
The cancer of India was, the cheetahs are bred in captivity, plus they may not survive the forest.
But Namibia’s tourism ministry confirmed that the cheetahs are captured at a young age and all of them are exposed to hunting.
So, they will not struggle much to survive the forest.
Besides, the felines will be quarantined for a month in a 50*30 meter enclosure in a sanctuary before releasing into the forest.
And they will be in an intense-close observation too.
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What’s the risk of project cheetah?
Since India has never seen or observed any cheetahs in the previous 70 years, experts have implemented several concerns.
The foremost concern is, only a 12 km area is fenced for the animals so they can possibly stray out the sanctuary.
And the other concern is they have to hunt chital deer which are found in Indian forest but not in the forests of Africa.
so , the cheetah’s have to wait and sharpen themselves as well as to know how to hunt a different animal- fast chital deer.
But thankfully, cheetahs are highly adaptable and there are similar experiments that have caused good results in parts of Africa.
So, the project cheetah will be successful.