Biodiversity: India reintroduces cheetahs


biodiversity
India reintroduces cheetahs

The last cheetahs living in India died around seven decades ago - now the country is trying to get rid of the big cats

The last cheetahs living in India died around seven decades ago - now the country is trying to resettle the big cats. photo

© Matthias Benirschke/dpa

India wants to reintroduce cheetahs to its territory. Eight animals were flown in from Africa for this purpose. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to release her herself.

Around seven decades ago, the last in India living cheetahs died - now the country is trying to resettle the big cats. Eight cheetahs from Namibia arrived by plane at Gwalior Air Force Base in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning (local time), Indian news agency ANI reported. They were then to be flown by helicopter to a national park, where they would eventually be released into a quarantine enclosure by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The animals should initially remain there and be monitored.

It's the first time that cheetahs being relocated from one continent to another, said Yadvendradev Jhala, who is working on the project for India. In the coming years, India wants to bring more cheetahs into the country. The imported cheetahs from Namibia are optically identical to the Asian cheetah subspecies. But they are genetically different. The Asian cheetah subspecies - unlike the cheetahs in southern Africa - hardly exist anymore.

dpa



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