Special flight bringing 8 cheetahs from Namibia lands at Gwalior | Watch video

The special cargo flight, carrying eight cheetahs from Namibia, landed at the Indian Air Force Station in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning. Eight Namibian cheetahs were shipped Friday to India as part of an ambitious project to reintroduce the big cats after they were driven to extinction there decades ago, officials and Veterinarian said.

After the necessary formalities, including paperwork, in Gwalior, cheetahs will be flown to Palpur village in Sheopur district by two helicopters, including a Chinook, he said. From Palpur, the cats will be brought to Kuno National Park (KNP) in Sheopur district by road and will then be released in isolation areas inside the reserve, said the director of forest conservation (wildlife). wild) of Madhya Pradesh, said JS Chauhan PTI.

The wild leopards was transported overland from an amusement park north of Namibian capital Windhoek to board a chartered Boeing 747 dubbed the “Cat Plane” for the 11-hour flight.

The project is the world’s first transcontinental movement of the cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal, according to India’s high commissioner in Namibia, Prashant Agrawal.

“This is history, a global first. The game changes,” he told AFP. “We’re all more than excited because it’s happening in 75 years of India’s independence.”

India was once home to the Asiatic leopard, but the species was declared extinct in 1952. The critically endangered species, which once roamed the Middle East, Central Asia and India, is now only found, in very small quantities, in Iran.

Since 2020, New Delhi has been working to bring the animal back after the Supreme Court ruled that the African leopard, another subspecies, could be settled in a “carefully chosen location”. kidney” on an experimental basis.

Five women and three men, ages two to five and a half, will each wear a satellite necklace.

They are a donation from the government of Namibia, one of the few countries in Africa where the beautiful creature exists in the wild.

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