Share this story!
During this month (August) a big group of cheetahs will be moved from South Africa and Namibia to India as a way of reintroducing the species after it’s been extinct for 70 years. This ambitious conservation project is the first to move a large carnivore between continents with the goal to reintroduce them in the wild.
About 16 young cheetahs (not young enough to still rely on their mothers) will be transferred from South Africa and Namibia to India’s Kuno National Park this month. The cheetahs have already been captured and now they will be microchipped, vaccinated against infections and rehydrated via drip.
According to experts, the cheetahs might find this journey challenging. In order to make the big cats as comfortable as possible they will be tranquilised while being moved into crates. During the rest of their journey, they will be mildly sedated so they’ll stay calm inside the crates so as to not hurt themselves.
When the cheetahs arrive in India, they will be put in quarantine for a month in a fenced area within the national park. Once the quarantine is over, they are free to roam the 115,000 hectare reserve.
Officials believe that the Kuno national park is big enough and will provide enough prey so the cats can survive. During the next five to six years, India wants to import 50 to 60 cheetahs and reintroduce them to a handful of reserves and parks. To ensure genetic diversity, the animals will be swapped around.
Euronews.green writes that even though transferring cheetahs from Africa will mean hybridizing the native population, it will hopefully save the animals from complete extinction.