20220925 173909

Cheetahs for India by plane to Gwalior, then take a helicopter: 10 points

thehourlynews 2 weeks ago 0
20220925 173909

There are fewer than 7,000 cheetahs left in the world.

New Delhi:
Eight Namibian cheetahs, flying in a special cargo plane, will land at Gwalior airport in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning. The speedy big cats will then be flown by helicopter to Kuno National Park, where they will be released.

Here are the main points of this great story:

  1. The cheetah-carrying aircraft will arrive at Gwalior Maharajpura Air Base, operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), around 5 am tomorrow. At 6, they will be flown by an IAF Chinook heavy-lift helicopter to the National Park.

  2. “The cats are under very light sedation, but they are not tranquilized. They all look great,” said Dr. Laurie Marker, the world’s leading expert on cheetahs, who is on the plane with the big cats.

  3. According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), a Namibia-based international non-profit organization dedicated to saving the fastest land animal, the five female cheetahs heading to India are between two and five years old, while the males are between 4.5 and 5.5 years old.

  4. India was once home to Asiatic cheetahs, but the species was declared nationally extinct in 1952. The big cats are being brought to India from Namibia as part of an intercontinental translocation project.

  5. The national park is located in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh, located about 165 km from Gwalior. Kuno Park was selected as a home due to its abundant prey and grasslands.

  6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to release three of the cheetahs into the park’s quarantine enclosures on September 17, which is also his birthday, an official said.

  7. But critics have warned that cheetahs may find it difficult to adapt to the habitat and may clash with the significant number of leopards already present.

  8. Speaking to the PTI news agency on Friday, Chief Conservator of Forest Wildlife (PCCF) JS Chauhan said: “The cheetahs will arrive in Gwalior and from there they will be flown by special helicopter to KNP.”

  9. The ‘India African Cheetah Introduction Project’ was conceived in 2009 and a plan to introduce the big cat in November last year in KNP was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

  10. Considered vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, fewer than 7,000 cheetahs remain worldwide, mostly in African savannahs.

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