Cheetahs at the Kuno National Park

Jabalpur (MP): A three-member committee of scientists has been constituted by a veterinary science university here to inspect the post-quarantine facility of eight Namibia-born cheetahs and monitor their health and behaviour at Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district, an official said on Tuesday.

The committee has been constituted by Nanaji Deshmukh Veterinary Science University on the request of the Union government’s team monitoring the cheetahs at KNP, the official said.

A three-member committee has been formed to inspect the post-quarantine facility for the cheetahs at the national park, said Dr S P Tiwari, vice-chancellor of the state-run university.

The committee comprises Dr Devendra Podhade, Dr Somesh Singh and Dr KP Singh from the School of Wildlife Forensic and Health at the university, he said.

The team will look into the aspects of health and behaviour of the cheetahs and visit the park whenever required, Dr Tiwari said.

Eight cheetahs were flown into the state from Namibia in southern Africa on September 17 this year as part of an ambitious initiative to reintroduce the big cat into the country and they were released into the quarantine zone at KNP by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to officials, three cheetahs Obaan, Alton, Freddie have been moved from their quarantine area into the acclimatisation enclosure at the national park earlier this month.

Obaan was released into the larger enclosure, spread over an area of 5 sq km, from the quarantine zone on November 18, while Elton and Freddie were moved to the acclimatisation enclosure on November 5, an official said.

The other five cheetahs will also be shifted to the large enclosure this month, the official said.

The cheetahs, five females and three males in the age group of 30-66 month age group and named Freddy, Alton, Savannah, Sasha, Obaan, Asha, Cibili and Saisa, were housed in six ‘bomas’ (enclosures) since September 17.

The last cheetah died in India in Koriya district in present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947, and the species was declared extinct from the country in 1952.

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