On Friday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan termed the re-introduction of Cheetahs from South Africa to India as the biggest event for wildlife in this decade.
“We were a tiger state, leopard state and now becoming a cheetah state. We prepared Kuno 20 years back and removed the villages so the wildlife could grow and villagers remain safe. Dreams are coming true now. This would be the biggest event for wildlife in this decade,” CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan told ANI.
The Cheetahs, are being brought to the country from Namibia through a specially chartered cargo plane Boeing 747, which will land in India on Saturday morning.
The MP Chief Minister further said that the re-introduction of the Cheetahs would help balance the environment.
“Will try our best that Cheetahs keep growing, producing. Their re-introduction will help balance the environment. Even though Cheetahs have not reached yet, the value of the nearby land has grown a lot. The tourism will grow, cars, hotels, landowners and locals all will be benefitted from this,’ Chouhan said.
“We are primarily worried about their survival, we will wait for them to adjust before leaving them in the wild,” he added mentioning that the Cheetah’s safety is their first priority.
“We will think of increasing the tourism here after they adapt themselves,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release Cheetahs in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur on Saturday and preparation is underway for reintroducing cheetahs in the country after almost 70 years.
On the occasion of his birthday, PM Modi will release eight cheetahs brought from Namibia into Kuno National Park as part of his efforts to revitalise and diversify the country’s wildlife and habitat.
Cheetah Project Chief and Member Secretary National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) SP Yadav said the Prime Minister will release two cheetahs from enclosure number one and after that about 70 meters away, which is the second enclosure PM will release another cheetah.
The remaining Cheetahs will be released in their respective quarantine areas made for them.
Under the ambitious project of the Indian government-Project Cheetah- the reintroduction of wild species particularly cheetah is being undertaken as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines.
India has a long history of wildlife conservation. One of the most successful wildlife conservation ventures ‘Project Tiger’ which was initiated way back in 1972, has not only contributed to the conservation of tigers but also to the entire ecosystem.
In continuation of this, the reintroduction of Cheetah which we have lost recently is one step ahead and a milestone in the history of wildlife conservation in India.