India prepares to welcome 12 African cheetahs

World Wednesday 15/February/2023 15:15 PM
India prepares to welcome 12 African cheetahs

New Delhi: A dozen African cheetahs are set to arrive in India, months after eight of the big cats were transferred from Namibia last year (2022).

Five females and seven males will be flown from South Africa to a national park in central India.

The transfer is part of an agreement signed by South Africa in January to introduce dozens of cheetahs to India over the next decade. Asiatic cheetahs became extinct in India in the late 1940s.

Experts say that excessive hunting and loss of habitat led to their disappearance.

In 2022, eight cheetahs were transported from Namibia to the Kuno National Park in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, BBC news reported.

Now 12 more big cats will join those introduced from Namibia.

Proponents of the project say that the reintroduction of cheetahs will build up local economies and help restore ecosystems that support the big cats.

But some worry that relocation of animals is always fraught with risks and releasing the cheetahs into a park might put them in harm's way.