Two of the eight African cheetahs, who were flown in from Namibia and released in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park in mid-September, have made their first kill within 24 hours of being released into a larger enclosure, news agency PTI reported.
The cheetahs hunted down a cheetal (spotted deer) either on Sunday night or in the early hours of Monday, officials told PTI. This was their first prey after their translocation.
The cheetahs – Freddie and Elton – were the first pair to be released into the larger enclosure on November 5 after being quarantined since September 17.
They were moved from quarantine zones to an acclimatisation enclosure on November 5, and will eventually be released into the wild.
Yesterday, the PM had said the cheetahs were healthy, active, and adjusting well.
“Great news! Am told that after the mandatory quarantine, 2 cheetahs have been released to a bigger enclosure for further adaptation to the Kuno habitat. Others will be released soon. I’m also glad to know that all cheetahs are healthy, active and adjusting well,” PM Modi had tweeted along with a short video of the two wild cats.
Great news! Am told that after the mandatory quarantine, 2 cheetahs have been released to a bigger enclosure for further adaptation to the Kuno habitat. Others will be released soon. I’m also glad to know that all cheetahs are healthy, active and adjusting well. 🐆 pic.twitter.com/UeAGcs8YmJ
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 6, 2022
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 cheetahs are currently housed in six enclosures and are being fed buffalo meat, a member of the Centre’s task force on the big cats told PTI.
As part of the ambitious “Project Cheetah”, the wild cats were reintroduced in Kuno National Park on September 17 at a function by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, heralding the return of the big cats to India seven decades after their local extinction.
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 translocated from Namibia in a phased effort to bring the big cats back to India.