Happy news from the world of wildlife! India has been blessed with four cheetah cubs. Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday, March 29 shared that four cubs have been born to one of the cheetahs translocated to India on September 17, 2022. Cheetah Siyaya delivered the four cubs at Kuno National Park.
The Union Environment Minister called the occasion a ‘momentous event’ in our wildlife conservation history during Amrit Kaal. Further, the Union Minister also congratulated the entire team of Project Cheetah for their relentless efforts in bringing back cheetahs to India and for their efforts in correcting an ecological wrong done in the past.
It is noteworthy that cheetah got extinct from India about 70 years ago. The wild cat was declared extinct from India in 1952.
Under Project Cheetah, initially, five female and three male cheetahs were brought to India from Namibia on September 17, 2022. Later, twelve more cheetahs from South Africa were relocated to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park on February 18, 2023.
Earlier in January 2023, India and South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation on the Re-introduction of Cheetah to India. Translocation of animals is a common practice to conserve species and restore ecosystems. Cheetah restoration is part of a prototype or model for restoration of original cheetah habitats and their biodiversity.
This is aimed at putting a check to degradation and rapid loss of biodiversity. Bringing back a top predator restores historic evolutionary balance resulting in cascading effects on various levels of the eco-system.
Project Cheetah’ is a one-of-a-kind project in which the species is being restored in the country by bringing it from out of the country (from South Africa / Namibia). It is carrying the world’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project. The Government further plans to introduce around 50 Cheetahs in a phased manner in the country, where their population once thrived.