India rejects captive-bred cheetahs from Namibia | India News

BHOPAL: India has rejected some of the cheetahs that were captured and quarantined in Namibia for their translocation to Kuno wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh because they turned out to be captive-bred and couldn’t hunt. Having timid cheetahs in a forest teeming with leopards would be disastrous. This decision will add to delays in the project.
During his recent visit to Namibia, Yadvendradev Vikramsinh Jhaladean of Wildlife Institute of India and one of the experts tasked with this conservation initiative, found that three of the eight cheetahs kept in quarantine for translocation “were not able to catch wild prey”. Those three are going to be replaced by wild-caught cheetahs.
“The ones being replaced were captive-bred. They cannot hunt prey in the wild. So they are being replaced,” said a forest officer in MP, requesting not to be named.
The wild-caught cheetahs will now have to complete a month of quarantine in Namibia. Also, translocation will be possible only after approval from Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES prevents smuggling of threatened species. All import, export, re-export and introduction of such animals has to be authorised through a licensing system.
The Union environment ministry had on Wednesday issued a statement that the date for translocation of cheetahs has not been decided yet. “The ministry is taking all precautions to ensure the success of the project. Reports in certain sections of media that African cheetahs are still stuck in transit are completely unfounded,” it said.
MP forest minister Vijay Shah told TOI that the government is trying to get cheetahs to Kuno “anyhow by the first week of November”.

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