Twelve cheetahs from South Africa were flown into Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning (February 18), from where they will be taken to the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Sheopur district for release into quarantine enclosures.
An Indian Air Force (IAF) plane carrying the felines landed at the Gwalior air base around 10 am.
#WATCH | Indian Air Force’s (IAF) C-17 Globemaster aircraft carrying 12 cheetahs from South Africa lands in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior. pic.twitter.com/Ln19vyyLP5
— ANI (@ANI) February 18, 2023
These cheetahs – seven males and five females – comprise the second set of big cats coming to the KNP, the first set of eight from Namibia having been released on September 17 last year at a function by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Also read: India and South Africa agree to relocate 12 cheetahs to India in February
From Gwalior, they will be flown to the KNP around 12 noon in an IAF helicopter. They will be put into quarantine bomas (enclosures) after half an hour (12.30 pm), an expert had said.
These animals will be released into the KNP by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Bhupender Yadav.
The inter-continental translocation of these fastest land animals – first from Namibia and now from South Africa – is part of the Indian government’s ambitious cheetah re-introduction programme.
(With Agency inputs)