12 cheetahs to be flown from South Africa to India next month

The introduction of South African Cheetahs into India has cone after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between South African and Indian government

New Delhi, JAN 28

After an agreement between South Africa and India, 12 cheetahs are likely to be flown into India in February.

The Cheetahs are being flown into India after a successful experiment to introduce eight Cheetahs from Namibia into India’s Kuno National Park in September last year.

The South African government and India have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the re-introduction of Cheetah to the South Asian country.

A statement issued by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that in terms of the agreement, an initial batch of 12 cheetahs are to be flown from South Africa to India during February 2023.

The ministry said the cats will join eight cheetah introduced to India from Namibia in 2022.

According to officials, restoring cheetah populations is considered to be a priority for India and “will have vital and far-reaching conservation consequences, which would aim to achieve a number of ecological objectives, including re-establishing the function role of cheetah within their historical range in India and improving the enhancing the livelihood options and economies of the local communities.”

“Following the import of the 12 cheetahs in February, the plan is to translocate a further 12 annually for the next eight to 10 years,” the statement said.

The ministry also noted that the initiative to reintroduce cheetah to a former range state following the local extinction of this iconic species due to overhunting and loss of habitat in the last century is being carried out following the request received from the government of the Republic of India.

The MoU

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Reintroduction of Cheetah to India facilitates cooperation between the parties to establish a viable and secure cheetah population in India; promotes conservation and ensures that expertise is shared and exchanged, and capacity built, to promote cheetah conservation.
It also includes human-wildlife conflict resolution, capture and translocation of wildlife, and community participation in conservation in the two countries.

“In terms of the MoU, the countries will collaborate and exchange best practices in large carnivore conservation through the transfer of technology, training of professionals in management, policy, and science, and establish a bilateral custodianship arrangement for cheetah translocated between the two countries,” the statement said, adding that the terms of the MoU will be reviewed every five years to ensure it remains relevant.

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