India and South Africa on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to introduce 12 African Cheetahs annually over the next eight to ten year. In terms of the agreement, an initial batch of 12 cheetahs will be flown from South Africa to India next month. The cats will join eight Cheetah brought in India from Namibia last year.
The initiative to reintroduce cheetah to a former range state is being carried out following the local extinction of this iconic species due to over hunting and loss of habitat in the last century. The terms of the MoU will be reviewed every five years to ensure it remains relevant.
Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav termed this initiative as an encouraging development for Project Cheetah and a matter of pride for nature lovers. In a tweet, he said, restoring cheetahs is a priority for the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with far-reaching conservation consequences. The Minister said, India looks forward to welcoming the cheetahs from South Africa. (AIR NEWS)