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The cheetah was extinct in India 70 years ago, but now it is back, reports CNN. South Africa is to send twelve cheetahs per year for the next 8–10 years. The first cheetahs will arrive in India this February.
The reason why the cheetah became extinct in India was because their habitat was shrinking and they were heavily hunted. The new cheetahs will be distributed over large nature reserves where they will be protected from hunting and will have plenty of space.
Historically, cheetahs were abundant in a belt from Africa across the Middle East to India, but now they remain largely confined to Africa.
South Africa has a relatively strong population of 1,500 adult cheetahs living in the wild. That tribe should therefore manage even if a few dozen cheetahs are sent to India. Last year, Namibia also sent some cheetahs to India, which are now joined by their South African relatives.