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Air Force aircraft reached Gwalior with 12 cheetahs from South Africa

by Trend News
2 minutes read
Air Force aircraft reached Gwalior with 12 cheetahs from South Africa.

An Indian Air Force transport aircraft carrying 12 cheetahs from South Africa reached Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning. From here they will be taken by helicopter to Kuno National Park (KNP) in Sheopur district and released in different enclosures.

The Air Force plane carrying the cheetahs landed at Gwalior airport at around 10 am. This second batch of 12 cheetahs including 7 male and 5 female leopards are being taken to KNP. Earlier in September last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released the first batch of eight cheetahs brought from Namibia into the enclosures at a function in KNP.

Gwalior Superintendent of Police (SP) Amit Sanghi said that a plane carrying cheetahs from South Africa landed at Gwalior airport around 10 am. Another official told that after the approval process in Gwalior, these cheetahs will be sent to KNP by Indian Air Force helicopter.

These cheetahs will be sent from Gwalior at around 12 noon to KNP, 165 km away in an Air Force helicopter, where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Bhupendra Singh Yadav will release them in separate enclosures.

An expert associated with the project said the cheetahs began their journey on Friday evening to their new home in India, thousands of miles away, from OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng, South Africa, on a transport plane.

KNP director Uttam Sharma said they have set up 10 enclosures for South African cheetahs. Two pairs of cheetah brothers will be kept in two of these enclosures. He said that we have completed our preparations to keep the cheetahs here.

Experts said a delegation from South Africa had visited the KNP in early September last year to take stock of the arrangements at the wildlife sanctuary housing the world’s fastest land runner.

An agreement was signed between India and South Africa last month for the transfer of these cheetahs. South Africa has donated these leopards to India.

India has to pay US$3000 for each cheetah captured there before it can be relocated. India had planned to airlift these South African cheetahs to the country in August last year, but it could not happen due to the delay in signing a formal agreement between the two countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released 8 cheetahs from Namibia at KNP on his 72nd birthday on 17th September. But these 12 cheetahs could not be brought to KNP due to lack of approval from the South African government at that time.

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