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Elephants to track a leopard to ensure cheetahs are safe 

There’s a rumble in the jungle. A leopard is prowling about the area meant for the immigrant cheetahs, who need to be kept here to acclimatise themselves to the new terrain.

August 27, 2022 / 09:26 PM IST
The Indian cheetah was officially declared extinct in 1952.

The Indian cheetah was officially declared extinct in 1952.

Two elephants reached Madhya Pradesh’s (MP) Kuno National Park last week as part of the wider project on the re-introduction of cheetahs in the country after a gap of 70 years.

“The elephants, a male and a female – Sidhnath (35 years old) and Laxmi (13) —  travelled 550 km from Satpura National Park,” L. Krishnamuthy, director, Satpura National Park, has said.

The Kuno National Park was established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary in the Sheopur and Morena districts of MP. Krishnamurthy said that four mahouts had accompanied the elephants.

JS Chauhan, chief wildlife warden, MP, also confirmed the arrival of the two elephants.

The elephants will be primarily tasked with tracking a leopard that is prowling about the area. Three leopards had entered the area, two of which have been tracked and removed.


The elephants will also be used for patrolling the inaccessible areas, assisting in the tranquilisation of animals, and helping spot other wildlife in the area.  They are likely to be here for a while.

Ashok Barnwal, principal secretary, forests, MP, said, ``The cheetahs have to be acclimatised to the new terrain, and for this they have to be kept for some time in a 500 hectare space divided into 9 or 10 zones. They are likely to be kept here for at least 1-2 months, depending on their health.”

India and Namibia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reintroduce the cheetah in India.

The cheetahs had their first health check-up in Namibia on Monday, prior to being flown to India next month.

“Cheetahs, potential candidates for transfer to Kuno National Park, MP undergo thorough first health exam by international team of experts led by renowned specialist Dr Laurie Marker. High Commissioner Prashant Agrawal was present,” read a tweet of India in Nambia. The tweet was accompanied with a photograph of the cheetah being subjected to health examination.

The Indian cheetah was officially declared extinct in 1952.
Vanita Srivastava
first published: Aug 27, 2022 05:48 pm
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