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SOURCE: ANI

While a commercial civil plane will bring Cheetahs from Namibia, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is ready to deploy its Chinook heavy lift helicopters which will ferry the felines from the Jaipur airport to the Kuno national park.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the “Reintroduction of the Cheetah” project at the Kuno National Park in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh on September 17. “The plan at present is that the civilian plane will bring the Cheetahs to Jaipur from where the Indian Air Force’s Chinook helicopters will fly them to the Kuno national park,” government officials said here.

The officials, however, also said they were still considering some airfields which are closer to the national park where they can be brought directly from Namibia. PM Modi will also release cheetahs being brought from Africa into the dense Madhya Pradesh forests.

The big cat species will be reintroduced in India after 70 years since being declared extinct in 1952. A customised jet arrived in Namibia on Thursday to bring cheetahs to India’s Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh where they will be re-introduced.

The High Commission of India in Windhoek, Namibia had tweeted the visual of the Indian aircraft.

“A special bird touches down in the Land of the Brave to carry goodwill ambassadors to the Land of the Tiger,” the High Commission of India in Windhoek said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Indian Oil Corporation Limited has decided to contribute Rs 50.22 crore over five years for the transcontinental relocation of Cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

Earlier, IndianOil on August 2, 2022, signed an MoU with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for the transcontinental relocation of Cheetah in its historical range in India.

Under the ambitious project of the Indian government – Project Cheetah – the reintroduction of wild species, particularly cheetah is being undertaken as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines.

Project Cheetah is an ambitious project undertaken by the government which aims to re-establish the species in its historical range in the country. India has a long history of wildlife conservation.

One of the most successful wildlife conservation ventures ‘Project Tiger’ which was initiated way back in 1972, has not only contributed to the conservation of tigers but also to the entire ecosystem.

The release of wild cheetahs by the Prime Minister in Kuno National Park is part of his efforts to revitalise and diversify India’s wildlife and its habitat. The cheetahs were declared extinct from India in 1952.