Cheetahs Doing Fine At Kuno National Park: Officials


Sheopur: The eight cheetahs, shifted from Namibia to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park (KNP) on September 17, are “fantastic” and “frolicking” around by feasting on buffalo meat while in quarantine, forests officials have said.

A task force constituted by the Centre will meet on Monday, when the spotted animals complete a month in their new home, to take a call on shifting them in a “soft release or acclimatisation enclosure” spread in an area of five sq km, they said.

“We think the cheetahs may be released into the wild in a month or two or more,” officials said. The task force was set up to monitor the introduction of cheetahs in the KNP in Sheopur district and other designated areas, more than 70 years after the world’s fastest animal became extinct in India. “The task force will take a call on putting the cheetahs in the soft enclosure,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), JS Chauhan, told PTI on Saturday.

Cheetah siblings Freddy and Alton, sisters Savannah and Sasha and Obaan, Asha, Cibili, and Saisa – are fantastic, Chauhan said. “According to the Namibian cheetah expert in the KNP, the eight cheetahs – five females and three males – aged between 30 to 66 months are doing much better than the expectations of his country,” he added.

KNP director Uttam Sharma said the cheetahs are fine and fed buffalo meat under experts’ supervision. According to some forest officials, Freddy and Alton, and sisters Savannah and Sasha, are seen frolicking around often in their quarantine enclosure. The two brothers and two sisters have been put in two bomas (enclosures) of around 50 x 30 metres, while the rest four cheetahs are quarantined separately in four bomas of around 25x 25 meters, officials said.

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