Eight Cheetahs from Namibia will set off from the capital Windhoek in a Chartered Flight and will land in Jaipur on Friday, later this week. From there they will be transferred in a Helicopter, after a journey of 40 minutes to their destination, Kuno National Park. They will be released on September 17 after ‘quarantine’ in an assigned area, under the surveillance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and are set to release eight cheetahs by him on the occasion of his birthday, as said by the officials of the Union Environment Ministry on Monday.
Initially, the quarantine enclosure is for a month, and then moving into a 6 square kilometer ‘predator-proof’ holding facility that will host live prey too. This Whole process will be done in a few months before releasing the cheetahs into the wild.
The Explorers Club, An American based-international multidisciplinary professional society designated the mission as “Flagged Expedition” with the goal of promoting scientific exploration. At the Kuno National Park, the Prime Minister will release the cheetahsaged for four to six years.
The Movement of all the animals will be tracked via radio-collared GPS. Based on the current prey estimation, up to 20 cheetahs can be supported by the Kuno National Park rehabilitating, preserving, and managing can also help this count increase up to 40 individuals as confirmed by the officials.
The Potential prey animals in Kuno present are a wild pig, chital, sambar, langur, peafowl, nilgai, feral cattle, chowsingha, and more. Sprawling up to an area of 748 sq. km ample amount of area is available to the cheetahs in the national park.
Helping the animals adapt to the Indian environmental conditions, was part of the plan. However, the hindrance in the current situation was the relocation of both, the Kuno-Palpur five leopards and the eight cheetah species to put them together during the adaptation period of the cheetahs in the Indian conditions which were inadvisable for both the species to co-exist together. But over some time, the cheetah and leopard species will be able to co-exist together according to the action plan.
With South Africa, India has also finalized an agreement regarding sourcing the animals but this is yet to be signed. A Representative from South Africa visited Kuno from September 6-8 if the park was suitable for cheetahs along with the expectation that a lot of animals will arrive in the month of October.