Namibian envoy hopes Kunho cheetahs will adapt to Indian environment
New Delhi: High Commissioner of Namibia to India Gabriel Sinimbo has said the death of some Cheetahs brought from his country to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh is normal as they were introduced to a new environment, media reports said.
He hoped that the big cats would be gradually able to completely adapt to India’s environment.
A total of nine of the 20 cheetahs brought from the two countries—Namibia and South Africa—died. The deaths also include three of the four cubs born to female Cheetah Jwala.
“When you are introducing animals to a new environment, there could be some challenges like fatalities. It's a part of any project of this nature,” Sinimbo said.
“It's a novel project advocated by the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reintroduce the large cat species and Namibia is quite pleased with this initiative, given our relationship of supporting each other,” Sinimbo was quoted as saying in a report in the media.
In September last year, India introduced eight Cheetahs from Namibia into Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park in an ambitious project to reintroduce the animals in the South Asian nation after their extinction some 70 years ago.
The cheetahs were brought to India with the aim of reviving the population of the big cats in the country.
In May, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which implements Project Cheetah, formed a high-level Cheetah Project Steering Committee, a press release by the Union Environment Ministry said.
This committee supersedes the previous Cheetah Task Force.
The new committee has been formed in accordance with a decision made during a meeting chaired by the Director General of Forest &SS and attended by the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
The new committee has 11 members. The Committee will be chaired by Rajesh Gopal (former member secretary of the NTCA and currently with the Global Tiger Forum).
A four-member consulting panel of international Cheetah experts has also been appointed who will provide advice ‘as an when required’.
Fourteen cheetahs -- seven males, six females and a female cub -- are kept in enclosures in Kuno.