They are coming! Cheetahs return to India after 70 years

Eight cheetahs, five females and three males, will arrive in India on 17 September as a part Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious plan to reintroduce the wild cats after it was declared extinct in 1952. The cheetahs will be brought from Namibia and will set up camp in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur National Park.

The cheetahs will be brought in by a special chartered cargo plane which will land in Gwalior on 17 September. The wild cats will be accompanied by three veterinarians from India, Namibia and South Africa. After they land in Gwalior, the cheetahs will be taken to the national park by an Air Force helicopter.

Wildlife experts and veterinarians have treated the first batch of cheetahs that will be arriving in India tomorrow. In the plane, the cheetahs will have radios attached to their throats and will be kept in cages measuring measuring 114 cm x 118 cm x 84 cm.

Before being released into the open grounds, the cheetahs will be quarantined in large enclosures for a month to monitor whether they are carrying any disease or not. The quarantine period will also help them to adapt to the new environment.

The main gate of Kuno-Palpur National Park has been decorated to welcome the eight cheetahs. Out of the five female cheetahs, two are best friends and two out of the three male cheetahs are siblings. To keep the cheetahs save and away from diseases, feral dogs around the region have been vaccinated.

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