The Cheetahs have landed: After 70 years, fastest cat to roam India's grasslands once more

Cheetahs once roamed freely in present-day in Rajasthan, Punjab, Sindh, and south of the Ganges river plain from Bengal to the northern part of the Deccan Plateau

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, September 17, 2022, 08:46 AM IST
article-image

The aircraft carrying African cheetahs destined for reintroduction to India have just landed in Gwalior this Saturday morning, officials have confirmed.

Whilst scheduled to land at 6.30 AM, the flight was slightly delayed, and landed at the Indian Air Force base at Gwalior just after 8 AM.

From Gwalior, the 8 fine examples of the fastest land mammal on earth will be processed through the various formalities, and will thereafter be flown to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

Cheetahs once roamed freely in present-day in Rajasthan, Punjab, Sindh, and south of the Ganges river plain from Bengal to the northern part of the Deccan Plateau. It was also present in the Kaimur District, Darrah and other desert regions of Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat and Central India.

Unrestricted hunting, along with the propensity of India's so-called 'royals' to trap cheetahs and raise them in captivity for the purposes of hunting and killing big game -- thereby eliminating their instincts for survival in the wild -- are the reasons why this magnificent creature went extinct in India, in the early 1950s.

The Government of India had initially approached the Iranian government for introducing Asiatic cheetahs into the country -- Iran is the only place in the world where Asiatic cheetahs are still extant.

However, years of negotiations went nowhere, and New Delhi eventually decided to introduce African cheetahs into the country, after extensive consultation with wildlife experts assuring that the cats would be able to adapt, even as other experts remained sceptical.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

UP: Dalit face & ex-BSP MP is Congress Chief, six zonal presidents to balance caste equations

UP: Dalit face & ex-BSP MP is Congress Chief, six zonal presidents to balance caste equations

Kodagu University to overtake 24 colleges affiliated to Mangalore Varsity

Kodagu University to overtake 24 colleges affiliated to Mangalore Varsity

Gujarat: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to celebrate Navratri with foreign envoys

Gujarat: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to celebrate Navratri with foreign envoys

Karnataka: Suspected of theft, Dalit boy tied to a pole, thrashed in Chintamani

Karnataka: Suspected of theft, Dalit boy tied to a pole, thrashed in Chintamani

UGC asks universities to make necessary alterations to help students pursuing dual degrees

UGC asks universities to make necessary alterations to help students pursuing dual degrees