MP: Agni And Vayu Released Into The Wild At Kuno National Park

MP: Agni And Vayu Released Into The Wild At Kuno National Park

The 'Cheetah Reintroduction Project' involves the release of cheetahs, which gives visitors the opportunity to view the animals in their assigned habitat.

Harshita MaheshwariUpdated: Monday, December 18, 2023, 10:23 AM IST
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Shivpuri (Madhya Pradesh): In a historic development for wildlife conservation, two male cheetahs, Agni and Vayu, were successfully released on Sunday, allowing tourists to witness cheetahs in the Ahera Tourism Zone of Kuno National Park, Shivpuri.

"In the Parond Forest region of Coon National Park, two male cheetahs, Vayu and Agni, were successfully released on December 17. Every cheetah is in perfect health. Parond Forest Area falls inside the tourism zone of Ahera. The Forest Department released a statement stating that tourists will now be able to witness cheetahs due to their presence in the tourist zone.

The 'Cheetah Reintroduction Project' involves the release of cheetahs, which gives visitors the opportunity to view the animals in their assigned habitat.

Kuno National Park occupies 344.686 square kilometers and is located on the northern slope of the Vindhyachal Mountains. It was given its name in honour of a Chambal River tributary.

Earlier, on September 17, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first eight Namibian cheetahs into Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP) in honor of his birthday. With this, India's grandiose project Cheetah came to an end.

Twelve South African cheetahs were then moved and let loose in Kuno National Park in February 2023.

An important addition to India's restored natural treasure collection are these cheetahs. The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change claims that a team of experts, including government representatives, scientists, wildlife biologists, and veterinarians from Namibia, South Africa, and India, carefully oversaw the entire project.

Four of the six criteria listed in the action plan for evaluating the project's short-term success have already been met: 50% of the introduced cheetahs have survived, home ranges have been established, cubs have been born in Kuno, and the project has generated income for the local communities both directly through the use of cheetah trackers and indirectly through the increase in land value in Kuno's surrounding areas, it stated.

The Ministry continued on to say, "This difficult airborne translocation of cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa to India is the first of its kind in history, an attempt to right ecological wrongs from the past.

In general, there is a danger of death associated with long-distance intercontinental cheetah translocations; however, 8 cheetahs from Namibia and 12 cheetahs from South Africa were successfully relocated to Kuno National Park with no fatalities."

After seventy-five years, one mother cheetah has given birth to cubs on Indian territory. At six months old, the lone survivor cub is growing normally and is doing well. Until now, no cheetah has perished from non-natural causes such as poisoning, accidents, snaring, poaching, or revenge killing.

The local community has been mobilised by Project Cheetah, which has also given them employment opportunities, both direct and indirect. The support from the community is tremendous. Since this is a long-term effort, it is intended to bring 12–14 cheetahs per year from South Africa, Namibia, and other African countries for the next five years, and then more as needed.

The last cheetah in the nation passed away in 1947 in the Korea district of what is now Chhattisgarh, once part of Madhya Pradesh. In 1952, the species was officially declared extinct in India.

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