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Meet the eight Namibian cheetahs that will run on the Indian grasslands after 70 years

The first batch of eight Namibian cheetahs will arrive in India. After their mighty landing in the country, they would be translocated to their new home in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park. Here is everything you need to know about the big cats which include a pair each of siblings and best friends.

Meet the eight Namibian cheetahs that will roar in India drb
First Published Sep 16, 2022, 12:08 PM IST

The clock has started ticking to welcome eight cheetahs in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park in the Sheopur district. It is after a period of 70-long years that the fastest-running animal will once again roam in the Indian jungles after they were declared extinct in the early 1950s.

A total of 20 Cheetahs will be re-introduced under the Indian government’s ambitious Cheetah project that marks the world’s first inter-continental translocation of a big cat. The feline will be re-introduced in two batches, and are being brought from Namibia and South Africa. The first batch will arrive in India, comprising eight Cheetahs -- five females and three males. While the female cheetahs are aged between two and five years, the male cheetahs are somewhere between 4.5 years and 5.5 years. Here is everything you need to know about the Namibian cheetah that will reach Kuno National Park.

All the eight cheetahs that are being re-introduced in India, have been rescued by the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). The first female cheetah, aged two years, was rescued by the CCF along with its brother. The two were found at a waterhole near the city of Gobabis in south-eastern Namibia. They were found to be in poor health condition and were probably orphaned because of a wildfire that had spread weeks before they were rescued. The feline siblings were living at the CCF centre since September 2020, before they were translocated to India.

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The second female cheetah was captured by the CCF in July 2020 in a trap cage from a farm, owned by a prominent Namibian businessman, nearing the CCF Centre. Its age is said to be three to four years old.

The third female cheetah, aged 2,5 years old, was born in April 2020 at Erindi Private Game Reserve in Namibia. The feline’s mother was at the CCF centre before it was re-released in the wild, not more than two years ago.

The five-year-old female cheetah, which is fourth in line, was found in the year 2017 near a farm in Gobabis. She was found by some farm workers in a malnourished condition. The farmers nourished her back to health before it was discovered by the CCF and was shifted to their centre in 2018.

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In February 2019, the fifth female cheetah, aged five years, was found by a CCF staff near a farm in Kamanjab village in the north-western part of Namibia. Cheetah number four and five have been best friends since the latter arrived at the CCF centre and have always been found together in their enclosures.

Now, coming to the male cheetahs. The sixth and the seventh feline are siblings, both aged 5.5 years. Their tracks were found near CCF’s reserve in Otjiwarango after which they have been living there until they too were together translocated to India.

The eighth and final cheetah from Namibia was born in 2018 at Erindi Private Game Reserve. Ageing 4.5 years old, this feline is the second-generation rehabilitated cheetah born at the reserve. Its mother was also born there.

All eight cheetahs have satellite collared and have been well vaccinated. Upon their arrival, they will thoroughly be checked by a team of doctors and African experts along with their Indian counterparts.

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