India inks pact with Namibia for reintroduction of cheetahs
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New Delhi: India and Namibia on Wednesday signed a crucial memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the reintroduction of cheetahs, declared extinct in the country in 1952.

A senior environment ministry official said the first batch comprising four male and four female cheetahs will arrive from Namibia in August.

“Talks are on with South Africa too. An MoU will be signed with them as soon as we get approval,” the official said.

The fastest land animal in the world will find a new home in the Kuno-Palpur National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district.

The cheetah is the only large carnivore that got completely wiped out from India, mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss. The last spotted feline died in 1948 in the Sal forests of Chhattisgarh’s Koriya district.

Namibia has the world’s largest population of cheetahs.

According to the pact, the two countries will share and exchange expertise and capacities to promote cheetah conservation in their ranges.

They will collaborate in areas of climate change, environmental governance, environmental impact assessments, pollution and waste management etc and undertake an exchange of personnel for training and education in wildlife management, including sharing of technical expertise, wherever relevant.

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