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Cheetah task force member says cats to be moved to larger enclosure in Nov

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Cheetah task force member says cats to be moved to larger enclosure in Nov
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Bhopal: Eight cheetahs were flown from Namibia to Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP) in the middle of September. They will be moved to an acclimatisation enclosure in November before being released into the wild, a member of the Center's task force on big cats said on Monday.

A meeting was held on Monday by the task force established to monitor the cheetahs in KNP in the Sheopur district and decide whether to move them from smaller enclosures covering less than five square kilometres to larger ones covering more than five square kilometres.

At the meeting, it was decided that the spotted cats from the African country will be shifted to the acclimatization 'boma' (enclosure) in November, the task force member told PTI on condition of anonymity.

He said the cheetahs will be released in a phased manner in the acclimatization enclosure and added the task force decided after lengthy discussions.

He said two members of the Centre-appointed body could not attend the meeting due to unavoidable reasons.

Earlier meetings had remained inconclusive on shifting of the cheetahs, now housed in quarantine zones. The previous meeting was held on October 27 in KNP.

According to initial plans, the cheetahs, the world's fastest land animal, were to be kept in quarantine for a month.

As per international norms, wild animals before and after their translocation to another country have to be in quarantine for a month to check the spread of any infection, experts have said.

The task force was set up on September 20 to monitor the introduction of cheetahs in KNP and other designated areas by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

Meanwhile, the eight cheetahs - five females and three males in the 30-66 month age group and named Freddy, Alton, Savannah, Sasha, Obaan, Asha, Cibili and Saisa - were fine in their new home, officials said.

They are currently housed in six 'bomas', two of which are 50 metres into 30 metres, and four are 25 square metres in area and are being reared on a diet of buffalo meat, they said.

The cheetahs were reintroduced in KNP on September 17 at a function by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, heralding the return of the big cats to India 70 years after they were declared extinct in the country.

The last cheetah died in India in the Koriya district in present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947, and the species was declared extinct in 1952.

He said two members of the Centre-appointed body could not attend the meeting due to unavoidable reasons.


With PTI inputs


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TAGS:CheetahKuno National Park
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