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Cheetahs arriving from Namibia as part of the cheetah reintroduction in India will not be given any food

Cheetahs arriving from Namibia as part of the cheetah reintroduction in India will not be given any food throughout their transit, a senior forest department official said. He said this is to avoid any complications during the long journey, which will already cause nausea in the animals. The eight cheetahs will travel from Namibia to Jaipur in Rajasthan and then reach the Kuno-Palpur National Park in Bhopal in another hour, according to JS Chauhan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests for Madhya Pradesh. He said that as a precautionary measure, it is mandated that the animal has an empty stomach at the time of starting the journey.

On September 17 between 6 and 7 in the morning, the cheetahs will arrive in India by cargo plane to the capital of Rajasthan. From there they will be transferred to a helicopter and taken to Kuno National Park in Bhopal. Environment Ministry officials were looking after arrangements related to the intercontinental cheetah translocation project and were in touch with Namibian authorities, a forest official said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release three cheetahs into quarantine on September 17, his birthday – as part of a cheetah recovery initiative, seven decades after the animal became extinct in India.

According to the MP forest officer, the cheetahs will be housed in small enclosures for a month after arrival, followed by larger enclosures for a few months to allow them to acclimatize and get used to the environment. Later, they will be released into the wild, he said.

We have set up six small quarantine enclosures in accordance with the legal mandate required during the movement of animals from one continent to another,” the official said earlier. According to protocol, the animals must be quarantined every month before and after the move. The cheetah was officially declared extinct in 1952 after , the last to die in India in 1947. The African Cheetah Project in India was created later in 2009. The release of the big cat in Kuno National Park until November last year was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said.

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