The 19 Cheetahs, seven from Namibia and 12 from South Africa, brought to the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh have now been rechristened with Indian names following suggestions from people across India after PM Narendra Modi had called for name suggestions during his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ program.
The park has recently welcomed four cheetah cubs too, born to Namibian Cheetah Siyaya, but the young ones are yet to be named. These four cubs are the first group of cheetah cubs born in the wild in India after 1947. Their mother Siyaya will now be known as ‘Jwala’.
Similarly, Namibian female Cheetah Asha would be called ‘Aasha’, Savannah would be called ‘Nabha’ and Tbilisi would be known as ‘Dhatri’.
The male Namibian Cheetah Obaan would now be called ‘Pavan’. This cheetah has turned out to be the most adventurous till now and is presently roaming in tiger territory in the nearby Madhav National Park after having fled from KNP a third time in 15 days.
Male cheetahs Elton and Freddy would now be known as Gaurav and Shaurya respectively.
PM Modi had released the eight Namibian cheetahs, five females and three males, into the KNP on his birthday on 17 September last year. One of the females, Sasha, recently died due to a renal infection.
This year on 18 February, 7 males and 5 females were brought from South Africa to the KNP. The males have been named Vayu, Agni, Tejas, Suraj, Uday, Prabhas and Pavak.
The five female cheetahs from South Africa have been given the names Daksha, Nirva, Gamini, Veera and Dheera. Initially, 8 cheetahs were brought to the park, followed by 12 more, which took the total number to 20.
After the death of one female, there remained 19 cheetahs and now, with the birth of four cubs, the total number of cheetahs in the wild in India has become 23.