A total of 12 cheetahs are likely to come to India from South Africa on January 20 under the cheetah translocation project, officials aware of the matter said on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first batch of eight cheetahs from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at the Kuno National Park on September 17. According to the ‘Action Plan for Reintroduction of Cheetah in India’ prepared by the Wildlife Institute of India, around 12- 14 wild cheetahs that are ideal for establishing a new cheetah population would be imported from South Africa, Namibia, and other African countries as a founder stock for five years initially and then as required by the programme.
A South African official associated with the project said the country’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has given his in-principle approval and a final MoU will be finalized in a week. “Union forest director general Chandra Prakash Goyal, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) member secretary SP Yadav and other officials of the forest ministry will leave for South Africa from Delhi on January 13 to bring the cheetahs,” an official said requesting anonymity.
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