South Africa Signs Deal To Send Dozens Of Cheetahs To India Over Next Decade

In an attempt to increase the population of Cheetahs, India has struck a deal with South Africa wherein the latter will send dozens of African cheetahs to India over the next decade.

South Africa has signed an agreement with India to introduce dozens of African cheetahs to the Asian country over the next decade, reported Reuters citing the African environmental department.

Notably, the first batch of eight Cheetahs was brought in from Namibia in September last year and were released at Kuno National Park by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday. It was the first time wild cheetahs were moved across continents to be released.

These cheetahs came back to India after the species was declared extinct in the country in 1952.

South Africa’s environmental department said in a statement, “An initial batch of 12 cheetahs are scheduled to be flown from South Africa to India in February 2023,” reported Reuters.

“The plan is to translocate a further 12 annually for the next eight to 10 years,” the department added.

Cheetahs disappeared from India some 70 years ago and the government of India has formulated an ‘Action Plan for Reintroduction of Cheetah in India’ to establish a new cheetah population in the country.

Informing the Rajya Sabha about the government’s plans, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, “The government has signed a MoU with the Government of the Republic of Namibia… As per Action Plan for introduction of cheetahs every year, depending upon availability of animals and status of the introduced cheetahs, 12-14 individuals are proposed to be brought from South Africa and Namibia or other African countries over the next five years.”

Eight cheetahs — five females and three males — that had been brought from Namibia were released in a dedicated zone in the Kuno National Park on September 17 last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of a reintroduction programme. The cheetahs were named as — named Freddy, Alton, Savannah, Sasha, Obaan, Asha, Cibili, and Saisa.