Apr 11, 2023
Cheetahs were declared extinct in India more than 70 years ago. That was mostly due to humans. People destroyed their habitats and hunted them as trophies. But now, thanks to a wildlife reintroduction program, four new cheetah cubs have been born in the huge Asian nation.
Conservationists hailed the cubs’ birth. They were born last week. An Indian official called the cheetah births a “momentous event in our … conservation history.”
The cubs were born to Siyaya and Freddie. The parents are among eight relocated from Africa to India. They live in a national park. The Indian government started the relocation plan last September. It hopes to re-home 50 cheetahs over the next five years.
Sadly, the births came just a day after one of the relocated cats died.
Cheetahs became extinct in 1952. British colonizers built farms over their habitats. As a result, many cheetahs also fell prey to predators. People also hunted them.
Making the births an even more joyous event is how long it took Indian wildlife officials to pull them off. Programs to reintroduce Asiatic cheetahs to India had been planned for generations. Political instability, though, meant that those plans were never actually carried out. In 2009, the Indian Supreme Court shot down a plan to relocate cheetahs from Africa.
A dozen more cheetahs arrived in India in February. These cats are from South Africa. South Africa will send more cheetahs to India over the next 10 years.
Photo by >>> niedblog.de courtesy of Unsplash.
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