In 1947, India witnessed the last of its majestic Asiatic cheetahs. The last 3 cheetahs living in India, were hunted down by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Koriya. And that’s when the glorious creatures disappeared from the face of our country and were declared locally extinct in 1952. Today, cheetahs are all set to make a wonderful comeback into Indian grasslands. By the end of 2021, India will receive its first batch of large cats from Namibia and South Africa.
India To Bring Cheetahs From Namibia & South Africa
After 70 years if the cheetah being declared as extirpated or locally extinct, India will receive its first batch of large cats from Africa by the end of this year. According to The Indian Express, the cheetahs will arrive from Namibia and South Africa. These two countries have the largest cheetah population in the world. Wildlife experts from these countries will arrive to train Indian forest officers and wildlife experts on the breeding, handling, rehabilitation, conservation and medical treatment of the cheetahs. History is being created as this is the first time in the world where a large carnivore will undergo rehabilitation from one continent to another.
The World’s First Relocation Of A Carnivore Across Continents
The expert committee in India has identified Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh for the relocation of the cheetah. The site was monitored since 2006. And was also identified for the relocation of the Asiatic Lion, as both animals share the same habitat, which is semi-arid grasslands across Gujarat-Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh. Dr Ranjitsinh, part of the committee informed The Indian Express that overhunting was a huge factor behind the extinction of cheetah in India. He also stated that India’s focus on agriculture during the Independence sacrificed the grasslands for agriculture. This also led to a decline in the cheetah population.
Currently, with India all set to welcome cheetahs from Africa, there’s all the more reason to focus on conserving the glorious species. Meanwhile, for a fun wildlife safari, visit the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.