PM Modi releases Namibian cheetahs at Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park

MADHYA PRADESH, Sept 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17 released cheetahs flown in from Namibia into special enclosure in Kuno National Park of Madhya Pradesh, as part of the programme to reintroduce the feline in India seven decades after it was declared extinct in the country.
“Decades ago, the age-old link of biodiversity that was broken, had become extinct, today we have a chance to reconnect it,” the Prime Minister said in a recorded address. “Today the cheetah has returned to the soil of India,” he added.
“I would also say that along with these cheetahs, the nature loving consciousness of India has also awakened with full force,” Mr. Modi said, adding that when cheetahs run again in Kuno National Park, the grassland ecosystem will be restored, biodiversity will increase further.
“I also thank our friendly country Namibia and the government there, with whose cooperation the cheetahs have returned to Indian soil after decades,” the Prime Minister said
Two helicopters carrying eight cheetahs reached Palpur near Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, following their arrival in Gwalior from Namibia in a special plane, where they were received by Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
The cheetahs were brought in a special flight of Terra Avia, an airline based at Chisinau, Moldova in Europe that operates chartered passenger and cargo flights.
The Park is situated on the northern side of Vidhyachal mountains and is spread across 344 sq km.
Officials battled heavy rain, inclement weather and some blocked roads to complete the preparations for Mr. Modi’s programme to release the big cats in their new home in Kuno. (Agencies)