Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): A jumbo plane with its nose painted resembling a cheetah is already in Namibia's capital Windhoek to ferry cheetahs to Kuno Palpur National Park. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release eight cheetahs into the park at 10:45 am on Saturday, which also happens to be his birthday.
The plane reached Namibia on Wednesday, wrote the High Commission of India in Namibia on its official twitter handle.
"A special bird touches down in the Land of the Brave to carry goodwill ambassadors to the Land of the Tiger," said the tweet with a photograph of the plane attached.
Responding to the same, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Thursday, "Congratulations India! With the arrival of cheetahs, the trinity of tigers, leopards and cheetahs will be complete in Madhya Pradesh. Under the constant guidance of our visionary PM @NarendraModi ji the maiden international translocation will be completed. Eagerly waiting"
"India can't wait to welcome these 'goodwill ambassadors'. The whole country is waiting to hear their growls once again decades after they went silent in the country", tweeted Union minister for environment, forest and climate Bhupender Yadav.
As per Press Information Bureau release, at around 12 noon, the PM will participate in an SHG sammelan with women SHG members/community resource persons at Karahal, Sheopur after releasing the cheetahs.
"The release of cheetahs by the Prime Minister in Kuno National Park is a part of his efforts to revitalise and diversify India's wildlife and its habitat. Cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952. The Cheetahs that would be released are from Namibia and have been brought under an MoU signed earlier this year," states the release.
"The introduction of cheetahs in India is being done under Project Cheetah, which is world's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project," it states further.
Cheetahs will help in the restoration of open forest and grassland ecosystems in India. This will help conserve biodiversity and enhance the ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration and soil moisture conservation, benefiting the society at large, says the release.
This effort, in line with the Prime Minister's commitment towards environment protection and wildlife conservation, will also lead to enhanced livelihood opportunities for the local community through eco-development and ecotourism activities, it states further.