Four cubs have been born to one of the cheetahs named Siyaya translocated to India from Namibia, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said on Wednesday. He shared the photo of the cubs on Twitter along with a video that shows them letting out some little roars. He termed it a "momentous event in India's wildlife conservation history". The cheetahs were brought to Kuno in Madhya Pradesh from Namibia in September last year as part of the government's ambitious plan to reintroduce the spotted felines in India.
"I am delighted to share that four cubs have been born to one of the cheetahs translocated to India on 17th September 2022, under the visionary leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi ji (sic)," Mr Yadav said in his tweet.
Congratulations 🇮🇳— Bhupender Yadav (@byadavbjp) March 29, 2023
A momentous event in our wildlife conservation history during Amrit Kaal!
I am delighted to share that four cubs have been born to one of the cheetahs translocated to India on 17th September 2022, under the visionary leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi ji. pic.twitter.com/a1YXqi7kTt
He also congratulated the entire team of Project Cheetah for their relentless efforts in bringing back the large carnivore to India and for their efforts in correcting an ecological wrong done in the past.
These are the first cheetah cubs born in India in more than 70 years, since the big cats were declared extinct in 1952.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released the first batch of eight cheetahs - five females and three males - into a quarantine enclosure at Kuno in Madhya Pradesh on his 72nd birthday on September 17 last year. One of the Namibian cheetahs, Sasha, had died due to a kidney-related ailment on Monday, forest and wildlife officials in Madhya Pradesh said.
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In a second such translocation, 12 cheetahs were flown in from South Africa and released into Kuno on February 18.
Cheetah is the only large carnivore that got completely wiped out from India due to over-hunting and habitat loss.
The last cheetah died in Koriya district of present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947 and the species was declared extinct in 1952.