Special Jumbo Jet To Bring 8 Cheetahs To India; Where Will They Be Introduced?
New Delhi: A customised B-747 jumbo jet landed in the Namibian capital of Windhoek on Thursday to transport eight cheetahs to India.
It will be one of the world’s biggest inter-continental translocation projects.
The Asiatic cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952.
The big cats will be introduced into Indian wildlife by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of his birthday, on September 17.
The aircraft, painted with the face of a tiger, has been modified to facilitate transporting the cheetahs covering a distance of over 8,000 km from Africa to Asia.
Special cages have been fitted to allow access to the veterinary staff who will be on board the aircraft on a special mission.
“A special bird touches down in the Land of the Brave to carry goodwill ambassadors to the Land of the Tiger,” the High Commission of India in Windhoek tweeted.
The jumbo jet will land in Jaipur from where the cheetahs will be flown in helicopter to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district.
Why Kunno National Park?
The extinct animal is being introduced at Kunno National Park as it is considered to be a good prey base for cheetahs. There is a big population of chinkara, spotted deer and blackbuck, which are cheetah’s favoured prey for them to grow in the wild.
Long overdue project
The ‘African Cheetah Introduction Project in India’ was conceived in 2009. A plan was drawn up to bring cheetahs to India in 2019, but the project was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.