African Cheetahs Landing to MP’s Kuno National Park on PM’s Birthday, First Time in 70 Years

African Cheetahs Landing to MP’s Kuno National Park on PM’s Birthday, First Time in 70 Years

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Madhya Pradesh- the Tiger State-on his birthday i.e. September 17. The occasion is special as African cheetahs will land at Kuno National Park on this day as part of the African Cheetah Re-Introduction Project.

The project was conceived in 2009 but got delayed due to the pandemic. Chief Minister of state, Shivraj Singh Chouhan shared the big news via his Twitter handle today.

Also Read: MP to Get 7 New Universities on Modi’s Birthday

Helipads Made to Welcome Cheetahs in Kuno National Park

kuno national park cheetah

Helipads are being made in Sheopur to welcome PM Modi and also the African cheetahs. Around 7 helipads are prepared out of which three are inside the national park to shift the big cats.

However, they will not directly land in Kuno National Park. First, they will land in Delhi from Nambia and be imported through Gwalior Airport. The entire journey to transport African Cheetahs will take approximately 16 hours.

Cheetahs are Back in India After 70 Years

cheetah in mp

India has zero population of Cheetahs. They were last seen in 1950 in Chattisgarh which is also said to be the Cheetah state of India.

During the 19th century, the population of cheetahs started declining due to bounty hunting. Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo was the last one to hunt cheetah which was also the last offspring. In 1952, they were officially declared extinct species in the country.

In 2010, the then Minister Jayram Ramesh took the first step to re-introduce cheetahs in India. However, his efforts were not fruitful for almost a decade.

Supreme Court gave the nod for the cheetah reintroduction project in 2020. It also asked National Tiger Conservation Authority to find an appropriate place for these big cats.

After thorough research, officials picked Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park. It has a very good prey base as well as vast land to give suitable habitats for cheetahs.

The park also has lions, jungle cats, striped hyenas, Indian wolves, sloth bears, and Bengal fox as major predators.

About African Cheetahs

Cheetahs are native to the African region mainly but are also found in central Iran. These big cats are really powerful and can catch their prey within 3 seconds.

These mammals are the fastest of all with an average speed of between 80 and 128 km/h. Not just speed, cheetahs are known for their high jump. They can jump up to 7 meters but cannot roar like lions.

However, the population of cheetahs has reduced drastically in recent years and they are vulnerable species as per IUCN red list. One of the reasons behind this is the low probability of survival in cheetah cubs.

PM Modi’s 72nd Birthday

Besides the launch of the cheetah reintroduction project in MP, the state is also planning big for celebrating PM Modi’s 72nd birthday.

His birthday will mark the beginning of the Seva Pakhwara program which will continue for 16 days. Under this program, various exhibitions and launches of Modi @20 Sapne Hue Sakaar book will be held.

The state will also conduct several health campaigns like tuberculosis-free country, blood donation, promoting booster doses for covid-19, and free health check-up camp on this day.

Apart from these, cleanliness and plantation programs are also its part.  

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