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Cheetahs finally lands in India

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    19th Sep, 2022


Recently, eight cheetahs (3 male, 5 Female) have landed in Gwalior from Namibia’s capital Windhoek and reintroduced in Kuno National Park. 

Earliest historical references

  • They are found in classical Greek records of India, from Strabo, about 200 years before the Common Era.
  • In the Mughal Period, cheetahs were used very extensively for hunting. 
    • Emperor Akbar had 1,000 cheetahs in his menagerie.
  • Central India, particularly the Gwalior region, had cheetahs for a very long time.
    • Various states including Gwalior and Jaipur used to hunt cheetahs.
  • The country's last spotted cheetah died in Sal forests of Chhattisgarh's Koriya district in 1948 and the wild animal was declared extinct in the country in 1952.
  • Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh, the ruler of a small princely state in today’s Chhattisgarh shot India’s last 3 surviving cheetahs. 

Challenges associated with coexistence approach 

  • Unfenced system: Kuno NP will be more challenging, as it is not enclosed / fenced. There have been no successful cheetah reintroductions into unfenced systems.
  • Anthropogenic threats to cheetah survival include snaring for bush meat and retaliatory killings due to livestock depredation.
  • Human-animal conflict: This would place them at the risk of human-related mortality including snaring and retaliatory killings by livestock farmers.

Verifying, please be patient.