Health Editor’s Note: I cannot help but note that these will be African Cheetahs that are to repopulate areas of India. Could they be different than the Indian ones that were hunted and harried to extinction?…. Carol
After Decades-Long Battle, Cheetahs Can Be Reintroduced in India
By Brigit Katz/Smithsonianmag.com
Cheetahs once darted across the Indian subcontinent, their numbers so plentiful that the revered Mughal emperor Akbar was said to have kept a stable filled with 1,000 of the spotted creatures. But by the mid-20th century, the cheetah had been declared extinct in India, pushed to the brink by threats like habitat destruction and overhunting.
Now, as Joe Wallen of the Telegraph reports, the country’s supreme court has ruled that the fleet-footed cats can be reintroduced to the country on an experimental basis, approving a plan that has divided conservationists.
The court’s ruling was prompted by an application filed by India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority, which sought permission to transfer cheetahs from Namibia, according to the Hindustan Times. In light of the ruling, authorities will move forward with identifying suitable habitat for the program, assessing such factors as prey availability and the potential for human-cheetah conflict.
Among the sites that have been suggested for the relocation is the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, the Velavadar National Park in Gujarat and the Tal Chapar sanctuary in Rajasthan.
As Namrata Kolachalam reported for the Atlantic in September, the Indian government has spent decades trying to bring cheetahs back to the country. ….