Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday released eight cheetahs, which had become extinct in India, into special enclosures in Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh's Sheopur district.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Modi said, "Cheetahs had become extinct from the country in 1952, but for decades, no meaningful effort was made to rehabilitate them. Today, as we celebrate 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', the country has started rehabilitating cheetahs with a new energy."
He said that tourists and wildlife enthusiasts will have to wait a few months before they can see cheetahs at KNP.
The Cheetahs are here but… pic.twitter.com/AOja89qdSB— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 17, 2022
The Prime Minister said cheetahs - brought from Namibia - are being introduced in India under Project Cheetah, which is world's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project.
"Bringing Cheetahs back to India will help in the restoration of open forest and grassland ecosystems and also lead to enhanced livelihood opportunities for the local community," the Prime Minister added.
He said, "Project Cheetah is our endeavour towards environment and wildlife conservation."
A special Jumbo Jet Boeing 747 carrying eight cheetahs landed at Gwalior airport this morning.
Several teams of wildlife doctors/experts will monitor the health condition of cheetahs who arrived in the state after 16 hours of air journey from Namibia, forest officials said.
Notably, the special event was scheduled for September 17 to mark Prime Minister Modi's 72nd birthday.
Madhya Pradesh houses six tiger reserves and 25 wildlife sancturies.
As per the All-India Tiger Estimation Report 2018, the state was home to 526 tigers, the highest for any state in the country.
However, with having tag of maximum number of tigers in the state, Madhya Pradesh also has registered maximum number of death of wild animals almost every year.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Pate, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan; Union Ministers -- Narendra Singh Tomar, Bhupender Yadav, Jyotiraditya M Scindia and Ashwini Choubey -- were among those present on the occasion.
The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister on Friday had said, "We were a tiger state, a leopard state and now becoming a Cheetah state."