After Namibia, Cheetahs to arrive from South Africa soon, says MP forest minister Vijay Shah

Cheetah running at full speed in South Africa (Acinonyx jubatus)

Representational Image [Photo: iStock]

Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah on Wednesday said after Namibia, now Cheetahs were expected to soon arrive from South Africa.

The first set of Cheetahs was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Kuno National Park here in September, when eight of the big cats were flown in to revive their population in India after over half a century it went extinct in the country. Twelve new enclosures with all facilities were being built at Kuno in Sheopur district, the state minister added.

Minister Vijay Shah told ANI, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken up the initiative of re-introduction of Cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa.


“We have completed the first phase. After bringing eight Cheetahs from Namibia, we not only kept them in quarantine but also familiarised them with the environment and released them in an open enclosure. Now, these Cheetahs are hunting and they are in good health.”

Prime Minister Modi released the eight Cheetahs on the occasion of his birthday on September 17 this year.

“An MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) for the next phase is in process. 12 new enclosures with more facilities were being built at the Kuno National Park. Enclosures are ready but we are improving them further,” he said.

“Earlier enclosures were open ones, if a Cheetah got sick, we first had to tranquillise them, only after that we could do something. But now we have made a small cage in the new enclosure and we would give them food there.

“The Cheetahs will arrive in the small cage and we can take care of them there. We are going to provide many other facilities to them,” the minister added.

Vijay Shah said, “The big news for India is that very soon the dream of PM Modi and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be achieved and we are bringing cheetahs from Africa.

“This project is of the Government of India and we are the foster mother who takes care of these cheetahs. We will protect them and take them forward.”
In the September lot, of the eight cheetahs, five were females, and they were flown in from Windhoek in Namibia to Gwalior and then transferred to Kuno in helicopters.