New Delhi: Eight cheetahs will land in Jaipur from Namibia on September 17 and will be flown to Kuno-Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh the same day, an official said on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release three of these cheetahs into the park’s quarantine enclosures on September 17, his birthday, as part of the cheetah reintroduction programme, seven decades after the animal became extinct in India.
After landing at Jaipur in a cargo flight from Namibia, the cheetahs will be flown by helicopter to Kuno park, around 400 km from the MP state capital Bhopal, principal chief conservator of forest J S Chauhan told PTI.
Asked how many helicopters will be used to transport the cheetahs, Chauhan said it would depend on the type of aircraft deployed for the purpose.
If a smaller aircraft is deployed, there will be two sorties to shift the felines from Jaipur to Kuno-Palpur, he said.
“This is being decided by the Centre,” Chauhan said.
“We have set up six small quarantine enclosures as per the legal mandate required during the shifting of animals from one continent to another,” the official said.
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He said according to the protocol, the animals need to be quarantined for a month each before and after shifting from one continent to another.
The last cheetah died in the country in 1947 in Korea district in present day Chhattisgarh, which was earlier part of Madhya Pradesh, and the species was declared extinct from India in 1952.
The ‘African Cheetah Introduction Project in India’ was conceived in 2009.
A plan to introduce the big cat in the KNP by November last year had suffered a setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.
(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)