New Delhi: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has received a no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Animal Husbandry for quarantine clearance for eight cheetahs to be released in a big enclosure which were recently introduced in India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on his birthday.
After getting clearance from the concerned ministry, two male cheetahs were released in a acclimatisation enclosure of Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh's Sheopur district on Saturday, an official said.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Kuno Wildlife Circle Prakash Kumar Verma told ANI, "After the completion of the quarantine period of the cheetahs brought from Namibia, two male cheetahs have been released in a big enclosure. The rest of the cheetahs will also be released in a phase-wise manner soon".
An official of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told ANI on condition of anonymity, "They have received the no objection certificate from the Ministry of Animal Husbandry. Government of India, for quarantine clearance of eight cheetah which were brought from Namibia on a special plane and introduced by Prime Minister on September 17 at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh." Top sources from the Ministry of Animal Husbandry told ANI that no objection certificate was given based on the routine observation and test reports (negative).
"The Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) were found free from any infectious disease and a final no objection certificate is accorded to Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry," the sources added.
"The Cheetahs brought from Namibia and introduced in Kuno National Park on September 17 are healthy, alert, vigilant, active and taking normal diet, normal Water and defecation. The quarantine period of 30 days is over. So far two cheetahs were in a big enclosure yesterday and very soon other six cheetahs will be released in a phased manner in a big enclosure of the park where they can hunt, said a senior official of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to ANI.
An official from the Ministry further said that all arrangements have been made for the release of the cheetahs in big enclosures and it is likely that all the cheetahs will find their new enclosure by November 10.
"This is already a big success that no Animal died in intercontinental translocation and not only this, all the Cheetahs that came to India are safe, normal and till date did not face any kind of problems here despite the very long distance journey due to our excellent preparations for them," said a senior official.
On the occasion of his birthday, PM Modi reintroduced cheetahs brought from Namibia in Kuno National Park as part of his efforts to revitalise and diversify the country's wildlife and habitat.
Cheetahs are said to be the fastest animal. It runs at a speed of 100-120 km per hour.
The habitat that has been selected in Kuno is very beautiful and ideal, where there is a large tract of grasslands, small hills, and forests and it is very much suitable for cheetahs. Heavy security arrangements in Kuno National park to prevent poaching activities have been made.
Radio collars have been installed in all the cheetahs and monitored through satellite. Apart from this, there is a dedicated monitoring team behind each cheetah that keeps monitoring the location for 24 hours.
Under the ambitious project of the Indian government-Project Cheetah- the reintroduction of wild species particularly cheetahs are 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 1947-48, the last three cheetahs were hunted by the Maharaja of Korea in Chhattisgarh and the last cheetah was seen at the same time. In 1952 the Government of India declared Cheetahs as extinct and since then Modi government has restored cheetahs after almost 75 years.