On the day eight cheetahs were brought in from Africa as part of India’s historic reintroduction of the animal, leading conservationist Valmik Thapar in Kuno National Park laid out his thoughts on “how the big cats will walk, hunt, feed” and raising cubs” concerns parks in Madhya Pradesh, which face a “lack of space and prey”.
“This area is full of hyenas and leopards, the main enemy of the cheetah. If you see it in Africa, the hyena will chase and even kill the cheetah,” he said in an interview with NDTV. “There are 150 villages around and there are dogs that can tear apart a cheetah. It’s a very gentle animal.”
speed and space
When asked why the cheetah, the fastest mammal on Earth, can’t outrun its attacker, he cited differences in terrain. “In places like the Serengeti (Tanzania National Park), cheetahs can run away because there are large grasslands. In Kuno, unless you turn woodlands into grasslands, that’s a problem…in Fast turns on rocky ground, full of obstacles, it was a big challenge (for a cheetah).”
“Can the government turn woodlands into grasslands? Is it allowed by law?” he asked rhetorically.
Originally, the plan was to move some lions from Gir (Gujarat) to Kuno to prevent disease from eradicating them,” Mr Thapar said, apparently referring to the operation around 2010, “but the Gujarat government did not agree. “The Supreme Court initially favored the lion translocation, but approved the cheetah plan about two years ago.
Mr Thapar listed tigers as another potential threat to the Kuno cheetah: “Sometimes even tigers come here from Ranthambore and that’s one of the reasons why lions can’t migrate. It’s not that common. But we have to close that too. corridor.”
What will they eat?
He also listed the problem of finding prey. “In the Serengeti, there are about 1 million gazelles available. In Kuno, unless we breed and introduce impala or chinkaras (live in the grasslands), the cheetahs will have to hunt the spotted deer, which are Forest animals, can hide. These deer also have large antlers, which can hurt cheetahs. Cheetahs cannot be injured, which is mostly fatal to them.”
“We already need to breed chinkaras and blackbucks. But we want to make history,” he said. “I’m not sure why we’re doing this work at this level. There are a lot of problems with native species. We need to find a balance.”
He said cheetahs had long been “royal pets” and “never killed anyone”. “It’s so tender, so fragile. [The relocation] is a huge challenge. “
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wearing sunglasses and a hunting hat earlier today Shake the lever to release a pack of cheetahs A special paddock from Namibia to Kuno.
The Prime Minister – whose birthday is today – was seen clicking on the picture of the big cat after it was released. The two cheetahs, five females and three males, will be held in quarantine for about a month before being released into the park’s open forest areas.
These creatures are Declared extinct in India in 1952.
Valmik Thapar emphasizes that they are not doing a good job of breeding. “There are only about 6,500 to 7,100 left in the world. The mortality rate (death at the pup stage) is 95%. Eight have been introduced so far, and more will be brought, which will increase to 35 over the years. This is A huge task. They need 24/7 monitoring to make sure they are alive.”