PM Modi to release cheetahs to Kuno National Park: Here's all you need to know
A specially customised B747 jumbo jet has arrived here in the Namibian capital to bring eight cheetahs to India's Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh where they will be re-introduced after the wild cats faced extinction in the 1950s.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday release cheetahs brought from Namibia in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park as part of his efforts to revitalise and diversify the country's wildlife and habitat.
On September 17, as many as eight cheetahs, five female and three male, will be brought to Jaipur in Rajasthan in the cargo aircraft as part of an inter-continental translocation project.
In 1952, cheetahs were declared extinct in India. The cheetahs that would be released are from Namibia and have been brought under an MoU signed earlier this year.
On September 17, also Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday, PM Modi will also participate in Self Help Group (SHG) Sammelan later that day with women SHG members/community resource persons at Karahal, Sheopur.
PM Modi will visit Madhya Pradesh on September 17 and at around 10:45 AM he will release cheetahs in Kuno National Park, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
The introduction of cheetah in India is being done under Project Cheetah, which is world's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project, the statement said.
Cheetahs will help in the restoration of open forest and grassland ecosystems in India, it said.
Meanwhile, a specially customised B747 jumbo jet has arrived here in the Namibian capital to bring eight cheetahs to India's Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh where they will be re-introduced after the wild cats faced extinction in the 1950s.
"A special bird touches down in the Land of the Brave to carry goodwill ambassadors to the Land of the Tiger," the High Commission of India in Windhoek tweeted on Wednesday.
They will then be flown from Jaipur to their new home -- Kuno National Park in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh -- in helicopters.
The aircraft bringing the cheetahs to India has been modified to allow cages to be secured in the main cabin but will still allow vets to have full access to the cats during the flight.
The aircraft has also been painted with the image of a tiger. The aircraft is an ultra-long range jet capable of flying for up to 16 hours and so can fly directly from Namibia to India without a stop to refuel, an important consideration for the well-being of the cheetahs.
The last spotted feline died in 1948 in the Sal forests of Chhattisgarh's Koriya district.
Starting in the 1970s, the efforts of the Indian government to re-establish the species in its historical ranges in the country led to the signing of a pact with Namibia, which donated the first eight individuals to launch the Cheetah reintroduction programme on July 20 this year.