Two of the eight cheetahs inside the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh were on Saturday released into an acclimatization enclosure upon completing the mandatory quarantine. The cheetahs were kept in the quarantine area since their translocation from Namibia in mid-September, an official said.
“Two cheetahs were released in the larger enclosure from the quarantine zones on Saturday. The remaining six cheetahs will also be released in the (acclimatization enclosure) in a phased manner,” KNP Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Prakash Kumar Verma said.
He said the two cheetahs were not released in an enclosure where a leopard was traced earlier. The cheetahs, released in a bigger zone on Saturday, were together in the quarantine enclosure, the DFO added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday shared a video of the two cheetahs, saying “all cheetahs are healthy, active and adjusting well.”
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The text attached to the video read, “Great news. I am told that after the mandatory quarantine, 2 cheetahs have been released to a bigger enclosure for further adaptation to the Kuno habitat. Others will be released soon. I’m also glad to know that all cheetahs are healthy, active and adjusting well.”
Great news! Am told that after the mandatory quarantine, 2 cheetahs have been released to a bigger enclosure for further adaptation to the Kuno habitat. Others will be released soon. I’m also glad to know that all cheetahs are healthy, active and adjusting well. 🐆 pic.twitter.com/UeAGcs8YmJ
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 6, 2022
The cheetahs were brought to India from Namibia with much fanfare on September 17 as a part of an intercontinental translocation project called Project Cheetah. It aimed at reviving their population in India, seven decades after they were declared extinct.
The eight wild cats – five females and three males within the age group of 30-66 months – were released in the dedicated quarantine zones on the same day.
Wild animals, according to International norms, need to be kept in quarantine for a month to check the spread of any infection before and after their translocation to another country, experts had said.
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