What is Project Cheetah? The country is anticipating a celebration of the cheetahs’ departure from Africa. A cheetah may not have been seen by the majority of us because they became extinct in India some 70 years ago. Find out more about Project Cheetah here.
Prior to the invention of writing, cheetahs prowled the Indian woods. They can be found in Neolithic-era cave drawings as well as British and Mughal-era diaries and journals. but not any longer in Indian woods.
What is Project Cheetah?
Cheetahs were steadily driven to the brink of extinction by independent humans, a declining prey base, and uncontrolled royal hunting.
Even the fastest animal on earth, which can reach speeds of 120 km/h in a matter of seconds, was unable to outrun the bullets. And the last three of the cats are thought to have died in 1947 as a result of gunfire fired by the Maharaja of Korawi. The huge cat was eventually deemed extinct in India in 1952.
The introduction again
But India has long yearned for the cheetahs to return to its woods. Due to Iran’s rejection of India’s request, attempts to reintroduce Asiatic cheetahs were unsuccessful. There are currently only about 20 Asiatic cheetahs left in Iran.
The government then switched its attention to Africa, where there are currently only 7,000 cheetahs surviving, principally in the woodlands of Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa.
And this year, the governments of Namibia and India finally struck a deal after more than 12 years of talks. Over the next five years, Namibia has promised to deliver 50 cheetahs to India.
The trip and the arrival
Five male and three female cheetahs will be flown from Namibia to Jaipur in a special Boeing 747-400 airplane across a distance of more than 8,000 kilometers in more than 20 hours. Along with the animals will be a team from the Namibian Cheetah Conservation Foundation (CCF).
They will go by helicopter from Jaipur to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will grant them freedom the following day. In addition, the prime minister’s birthday falls on September 17.
National Park Kuno
A 748 square km protected region, Kuno National Park is located around 200 miles south of Delhi. To keep predators out of the park, which can hold a maximum of 21 cheetahs, a 12-km long fence has been built.
The hiccup at the final minute
A last-minute snag in “project cheetah” occurred when India refused to accept three of the eight cheetahs, claiming that they were captive-bred and could not survive in the wild. The tourism ministry of Namibia, however, said that all eight of the animals were seized while they were young and had experienced hunting.
In close observation
The sanctuary will house the cats for one month in a 50 by 30-meter cage, where they will be closely monitored. Later, they will be released in the safe area.
The danger sign
Numerous issues worry experts. For example, the cheetahs may stray outside of the sanctuary because only a 12-km radius is walled. They further claim that because chital deer are not found in Africa, the big cats will have a difficult time hunting them. However, because cheetahs are highly adaptive, comparable tests in several African regions have produced positive results.