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On September 17th, 2022, a group of eight Cheetahs arrived from Namibia, Africa to India's Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
They will undergo a month-long quarantine before being released in the wild.
The first batch of eight- five females and three males, aged between 6-12 years- arrived from Windhoek, Namibia to the Indian city of Gwalior on Saturday. From Gwalior, cheetahs were transferred by helicopter to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where they were released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This is the first time in seventy years, cheetahs have returned to India since their extinction in India.
Cheetah is a large cat native to Africa and Central Iran. It is the fastest land animal, capable of running at a speed of 80-128Km/h.
Cheetahs in India
In the medival India, kings started to tame cheetahs in order to hunt . First Shah Tughlaq is considered to be the first ruler to tame cheetahs for hunting purposes. Mughal emperor Akbar had 1000 cheetahs for hunting gazelle and blackbucks.
In 1608, a white cheetah was known to be in possession of Raja Virginia Singh in Orchards. This is said to be the only recorded white cheetah.
Until 20th century, Asiatic Cheetah was common and roamed all the way from Israel, to Iran, Afghanistan, India. In India, they ranged as far south as Tamil Nadu. Asiatic Cheetah was also known as 'hunting leopard' and was kept by kings to hunt gazelle and blackbucks.
By the beginning of 20th century, species was heading towards extinction in many areas. In 1948, the last three Asiatic Cheetahs were shot by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Surguja state. In 1952, with the death of last remaining female in Chattisgarh, Asiatic Cheetahs were declared to be extinct in India.