Kuno National Park: Cheetahs will again be brought to India from South Africa and they will be released in Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. According to National Tiger Conservation Authority chief SP Yadav, preparations for releasing leopards in this sanctuary will be completed by the end of the year."text-align: justify;">Project Cheetah head SP Yadav said, “This time India will get such cheetahs from there, which do not develop thick fur (a special layer of hairy leather) during the winter season. In fact, some of the cheetahs brought to India from Africa were vulnerable to serious infections due to the development of thick fur. Due to this reason, three leopards also died.”
Leopards were released in Kuno last year
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released the cheetahs brought from Namibia in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on September 17 last year and with this, Project Cheetah was started in the country. Project Cheetah will complete one year on Sunday (September 17)."text-align: justify;">According to the head of Project Cheetah, this time full attention will be given to the breeding of these animals. He insisted, “The cheetahs did not suffer from any infection because of the radio collars they wore.” However, the officials have decided to replace these collars with new collars made by the same South African manufacturer.”
Two new places for cheetahs
SP Yadav, head of this project, said, “It is mentioned in the Cheetah Action Plan that Kuno has the capacity to house 20 cheetahs.” At present there are a total of 15 leopards including one cub. When we bring the next batch of leopards to the country, we will keep them in some other area. We are preparing two such places in Madhya Pradesh, one of which is Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary and the other is Nauradehi."text-align: justify;">He said. “Preparations for bringing leopards to Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary are going on in full swing. I think this work will be completed by the end of November or December. We will examine the preparations from every aspect and take a decision regarding bringing the leopards after December.”
Why did the leopards die?
According to SP Yadav, the main challenge faced in the care of cheetahs in India in the first year was that some cheetahs had developed thick fur on their bodies during the summer and monsoon seasons in India as anticipated in the African winter period (June to September). Had developed. Even African experts did not expect this.
He explained in detail the entire incident of infection and death in leopards. He said, “Thick fur, high humidity and high temperature, all these make leopards itch and they rub their necks on tree trunks or the ground.” Due to this, the skin on the necks of animals gets torn, on which flies sit and lay eggs. Due to this, the animals get infected with the virus and suffer from septicemia (rot) and the animals die.
SP Yadav said, “The cubs born in Indian soil can easily adapt to the environment here.” Once the breeding process is completed, then we will be able to understand how these cheetahs survive in our country.” ‘Project Cheetah’ Under this, 20 cheetahs were brought from Namibia and South Africa. These were sent to Kuno National Park in two batches – September 2022 and February 2023.