8 endangered Namibian cheetahs arrive in India

Eight leopards from Namibia arrived in India on Saturday, it was reported Tweet from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). The big cats were released in the Indian Kono National Park in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was there to welcome the Panthers into their new home. “The long wait is over,” Modi said wrote on Twitter Next to pictures of cats in their new environment.

But endangered cats had a much larger range. Historically, cheetahs roamed the Middle East and central India as well as most of sub-Saharan Africa. Habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans have dramatically reduced their population.

There are now fewer than 7,000 cheetahs left in the wild, says the WWF. in Iran, There are only 12 adult cheetahs in the wild.
The release of the eight animals is part of a larger plan to return the cats to their former group. In January, the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change announced in a press release The government plans to release 50 cheetahs into India’s national parks over the next five years.
The group that arrived in Kono consisted of three males and five females of leopards from Namibia. According to a press release from CCF. Each leopard was vaccinated, fitted with a satellite neck and placed in isolation at the fund’s site in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, according to the statement.

The animals selected for the 11-hour trip were “based on an assessment of health, wild disposition, hunting skills, and ability to contribute genetics that will result in a strong institutional set,” the organization says.

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It took a multi-step journey to transport the cats from Namibia, on the southwest coast of Africa, to central India. On Friday, Panthers flew from CCF to Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, Namibia. Then they took a private jet to Jaipur, India. Finally, on Saturday, the cats were taken to Kono National Park and released into their new home.

“As a conservation activist, I am thrilled, and as the leader of the CCF, I am exceptionally proud of the work of the CCF Reintroduction Team,” CCF Founder and CEO Laurie Marker said in the statement. “Without the research and dedication to cheetah conservation, this project could not be carried out.”

Gala Yadvindradev, dean of the Wildlife Institute of India and lead scientist on the Indian Cheetah Project, said the project would benefit all of India – not just cheetahs.

“The return of a large predator restores the historical evolutionary balance, with cascading effects, resulting in better management and restoration of wildlife habitats, for the benefit of all species, and will raise the livelihoods of poor forest-dwelling communities,” Yadvendradev said in the statement. .

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