Cheetahs – brought from Namibia – are being introduced in India under Project Cheetah, which is world’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project
PM Narendra Modi released three cheetahs to the enclosures inside Kuno National Park in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh through the apparatus, rotating a liver on Saturday morning. It is also PM Modi’s birthday today.
Live: On his 72nd birthday, PM Modi releases 8 cheetahs from Namibia in MP forest
Special cargo plane carrying eight cheetahs from Namibia landed at the Gwalior airport at around 7.51 am.
Initially the special plane was to land at Jaipur, from where they were to be flown to Kuno, but the plan was changed at the last moment. Team of 24 wildlife experts including veterinary doctors and three biologists accompanied the species as they made the transcontinental journey in a modified passenger Boeing 747 plane. After necessary protocols including a medical check-up at Gwalior the cheetahs were flown to Palpur village in Sheopur district in two IAF helicopters, including a Chinook.
PM Modi arrived at the Gwalior airport from New Delhi at around 10. 45 am and left for Kuno, about 165km away, where he released cheetahs into quarantine enclosures at around 11:30am.
Central ministers, Bhupendra Yadav, Narendra Singh Omar and Jyotiraditya Scindia, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state forest minister Vijay Shah were also present. Project head Dr M K Ranjitsinh, V Jhala, dean of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), NTCA Chief S P Yadav and chief of Madhya Pradesh wildlife unit J S Chouhan, Kuno DFO P K Verma, SDO Amritanshu Singh among others who had played a crucial role in this project were also inside the park.
After releasing cheetahs, PM Modi went to take part in a plantation program at Karahal in Sheopur district and then to participate in a conference of women self-help groups (SHGs).
After the Karahal program, the PM will leave for New Delhi in the afternoon from Gwalior.
Meanwhile a team of forest officers at Kuno who were trained in Namibia to handle Cheetahs have swung into action. They were trained in physical capture, placement of cheetah traps, catching an entire group of cheetahs, handling cheetahs once they have been captured, human safety, chemical capture, preparations to be done before chemical capture, choosing an anaesthetic agent, dosage, administration of the anaesthetic agent, management post administration of the drug, recovery post-anaesthesia etc, said sources.