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Cheetahs will return to India after 70 years in MP sanctuary

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jul 18, 2022 11:00 PM

Read Time: 1 minute

Cheetahs, the world's fastest land animal, became extinct in India 70 years ago, but a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh is set to welcome them back.

Kuno-Palpur National Park (KNP) in MP's Sheopur district could be the new home for these magnificent creatures as early as August if everything goes as planned, according to park officials.
"We are working on it. Cheetahs will come to Madhya Pradesh in August," forest department's principal secretary Ashok Barnwal was quoted.

Cheetahs will be brought from South Africa

The park officials said the animals would be brought initially from South Africa under an intercontinental translocation project. Earlier in 2022, the environment and forest ministry had announced it was reintroducing the 'Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India’.

Cheetahs, which are native to Africa and Asia, can reach speeds of up to 128 kph at full sprint in the wild. One cheetah at a Cincinnati zoo was recorded at 98 kph, covering a distance of 100m in 5.95 seconds.

The 750-square-kilometer Kuno-Palpur National Park is home to a variety of animals, including cheetal, sambhar, blue bull, wild boar, and langoor, on which big cats can prey. As a result, it's ideal as a new home for the cheetah.

Cheetahs were abundant in the Indian subcontinent till a few centuries ago. Loss of habitat and hunting quickly reduced numbers. The last cheetah spotted in India died in the present Chhattisgarh region in 1947. In 1952, the wild animal was declared extinct in the country.

Also Read: Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary in Rajasthan has been identified as India's 52nd tiger reserve

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