Speculations that huge cats to reach by first week of March; no official affirmation but
The Memorandum of Understanding between New Delhi and Pretoria to carry 12 cheetahs to India from South Africa was lastly signed after an extended delay, sources have confirmed to Down To Earth.
These cheetahs will be part of the eight huge cats from Namibia that arrived on the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district on September 17, 2022.
The dates of their arrival are nonetheless unsure. The Madhya Pradesh Forest division had hoped the cheetahs would arrive by February, however the newest speculations recommend it should take a minimum of till the primary week of March.
Sources in India stated the Indian delegation will depart for South Africa someday within the second week of February to carry the 12 huge cats.
Learn extra: DTE Exclusive: As Pretoria and New Delhi dither, cheetahs gain weight; some to be swapped now
A supply from South Africa, on situation of anonymity, confirmed the MoU between the 2 international locations has been signed. Nonetheless, neither of the 2 governments has launched an official assertion but.
The MoU obtained clearance by the South African Minister of Atmosphere, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy within the final week of November. However President Cyril Ramaphosa solely cleared it someplace round January 24 for each international locations to signal.
In the meantime, the MP forest and wildlife division is making preparations for the arrival of big cats.
Three of the 12 cheetahs have been housed within the Phinda quarantine boma (small enclosure) in KwaZulu-Natal province. The opposite 9 have been within the Rooiberg quarantine boma in Limpopo Province since July 15, 2022.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of MP J S Chouhan instructed DTE they’re making new quarantine bomas for the brand new cheetahs.
“They are going to be stored in quarantine for one month, as per protocol after which will probably be launched into the 5 sq. kilometre space for tender launch into the wild,” Chouhan had earlier instructed DTE.
Learn extra: ‘India’s cheetah plan is flawed, may become hurdle for national conservation priorities’
In earlier conversations with DTE, Vincent van der Merwe, supervisor for Cheetah Metapopulation, The Metapopulation Initiative, had stated some cheetahs must get replaced with new ones because of the lengthy quarantine. Nonetheless, he couldn’t reveal any additional info concerning the identical.
The eight cheetahs — 5 females and three males — that have been launched in Kuno have been additionally launched into the 5 sq km space and are adapting well to the new environment.
Chouhan had instructed DTE that that they had acclimatised to India’s atmosphere much better than anticipated and, since then, have made several kills of nilgai, sambar and cheetals.
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