PM Modi birthday live updates: No conflict between economy & ecology, PM Modi says after cheetah release

The country hears big cats’ growl after 75 years. Know more about the historic moments for wildlife in India below.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, September 17, 2022, 01:47 PM IST
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On his 72nd B’day, PM Modi releases cheetahs into MP's Kuno National Park to launch world’s first intercontinental cheetah translocation project | Twitter/@JansamparkMP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is celebrating his 72nd birthday on Saturday, released eight cheetahs brought from Namibia into Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP) in the morning to bring to an end a long wait of 75 years since India declared the extinction of the big cats in 1952, five years after the last cheetahs were killed.

Two of eight cheetahs were first released into quarantine enclosures from where they would be released into big enclosures after some time.

PM climbed on a raised platform where he rotated a handle to release the cheetahs into the enclosure. He also shot photos of the cheetahs with a camera.

As per official documents, it was in Korea, now in Chhattisgarh, where the last cheetahs of the country were spotted and killed in 1947, the year when the country achieved its Independence from British rule.

This happens to be the world’s first intercontinental cheetah translocation project, for which India and Namibia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on July 20, 2022.

As per the MoU, eight cheetahs were brought from Namibia- three males and five females.

To witness the historic moments at KNP, there were the Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Mangubhai Patel, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Ministers-Narendra Singh Tomar and Jyotiraditya Scindia, several ministers of the state cabinet, officials of the state and the central government and others.

The Kuno Palpur National Park is situated in Sheopur district in Madhya Pradesh, more than 400 kilometers north of the state capital, Bhopal.

On Saturday morning, the PMO tweeted, “PM @narendramodi emplanes for Madhya Pradesh, where two major programmes will be held. In a historic occasion, cheetahs will be released at Kuno National Park. PM Modi will also attend a programme of self-help groups in Sheopur.”

Earlier, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a message to the people for this wonderful gift to Madhya Pradesh on his birthday.

“Nothing can be a more precious gift by the PM on his birthday to Madhya Pradesh than cheetahs being brought from Namibia to be released in Kuno National Park," he said.

The plane carrying the cheetahs from Namibia landed at Gwalior airport at about 8.30 am on Saturday, from where the big cats were flown to KNP by Army choppers. The nose of a special cargo plane used for the same was painted, which resembled a cheetah.

The PM landed at Gwalior airport at about 10.40 am and was received by governor Mangubhai Patel, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Home Minister, Narottam Mishra.

Earlier, during the cheetahs' handover programme at Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek, on Friday night, the high commissioner of India to Namibia, Prashant Agrawal, said, “They are on their way to Mother India! Cheetahs have left Namibia by spl flight. Kuno MP new home. A historic, global first intercontinental translocation. Spl milestone in India-Namibia relns.”

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