The first moments of the cheetah on Indian soil

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By PTI IST (Released)

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The moments were captured by television cameras and also by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who clicked images with his DSLR camera from the high dais above the cage from which the cheetah emerged into an enclosure special quarantine.

As its cage door opened, the first of eight cheetahs brought to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh hesitated for a moment or two before stepping out onto the grass. He then ran, stopped near a tree and scanned the surroundings, his new homeland 8000 km from his native Namibia, turning his neck in all directions.

The moments were captured by television cameras and also by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who clicked images with his DSLR camera from the high dais above the cage from which the cheetah emerged into an enclosure special quarantine. At around 11:30 a.m., Modi pulled a lever to release three of the eight cheetahs brought to India from Namibia as part of a project to revive the population of the animal that died out in India in 1952.

After spending a month in the quarantine enclosure, the eight cheetahs – five females, three males – will be moved to an acclimatization enclosure within the national park where they will remain for up to four months before being released back into the nature. In his speech after the cheetahs were released, Prime Minister Modi warned they needed time to get used to their new surroundings before people could see them in the wild. “The cheetahs are our guests, we should give them a few months to settle in Kuno National Park,” he said.

The KNP, spread over 700 km2, is located on the northern slopes of the Vindhyachal Mountains. It takes its name from the Kuno River, a tributary of the Chambal.

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