A Cheetah That Arrived In India Last Year Gives Birth To 4 Cubs

The big cat declared extinct in 1952 in India is now returning to the country, according to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav. He termed the development a momentous event in India’s wildlife conservation history during ‘Amrit Kaal.’ He commended the Project Cheetah team for their relentless efforts in bringing the big cat to India.

In September, eight cheetahs were sent from Namibia to Kuno National Park in central India, where they reside now, as part of a long-awaited plan to reintroduce African cheetahs into the country’s wild habitats. The first group of spotted felines, expected to be released this month, will help restore the country’s grasslands and open forests that have lost most of their animal population to climate change, overhunting, poaching, and conflict with humans.

Despite these factors, cheetahs are not a threat to human life and do not attack large livestock, so introducing them could positively impact the lives of both humans and animals alike. In addition, they’re among the most social animals of their kind.

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However, reintroducing cheetahs to their native range is not as simple as just putting them in fenced enclosures and letting them roam freely. They’re still in quarantine and are being monitored closely, but they may eventually be released into free-ranging habitats that could support their natural predatory and hunting habits.

While the cheetah’s habitat is essential, its prey is also critical. The big cats eat a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, including many endangered or threatened.

The cheetah’s range was once much more extensive, stretching from the Middle East to Africa and into the Indian subcontinent. But the cheetah has disappeared from most of its former range, including parts of eastern and southern Africa, due to overhunting, habitat loss, and conflict with humans.

Several attempts have been made to bring the cheetah back to its native range, but conservationists are divided over the government’s plans to reintroduce them in India. While some experts say it’s a positive step in conserving the big cat, others are still determining if the reintroduction will succeed.

One of the significant challenges is finding enough cheetahs to make up a viable population in India’s relatively tiny 748-square-kilometer Kuno National Park. The CIP estimates that a maximum of 21 cheetahs can live in the park, but some biologists say this needs to be more for a healthy population.

A cheetah is considered an iconic and endangered species worldwide, so reintroducing it to its native range is important. It would revitalize the ecosystem and draw attention to India’s essential yet under-appreciated grasslands, which have lost most of their animal population to climate Change.

But if the cheetah is reintroduced, it will have to compete with tigers and leopards for food and other predatory mammals. Scientists estimate that only about 7,000 cheetahs exist in the wild, down from over 20,000 in the past.

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