Cheetahs in Kuno: Seven more cheetahs, including two females, will be released into the wild in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park by the third week of June, the chairman of the high-level committee set up to monitor the progress of Cheetah reintroduction project said.
Under the ambitious programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first batch of eight spotted felines from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at Kuno in Madhya Pradesh on September 17 last year. In a second such translocation, 12 cheetahs were flown in from South Africa and released into Kuno on February 18.
Three cheetahs died in March and April month. Of the 17 remaining adult cheetahs, seven have already been released into the wild.
"The project is on track and there's no cause for worry. We have decided to release seven more cheetahs, including two females, by the third week of June," Rajesh Gopal, the panel's chairman and the secretary general of the Global Tiger Forum, told media.
"Of the 10 cheetahs still in the larger fenced acclimatisation camps, seven will be released. The three remaining ones are from Namibia's captive stock and more time is needed to rewild then," he said.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority had on May 8 decided to release five more cheetahs (apart from the three already in the wild then) before the onset of the monsoon. Animals are generally not released into the wild during the monsoon season as harsh weather conditions make it difficult for them to find food and shelter and adapt to their new environment.
The 11-member cheetah project steering committee set up recently met for the first time on Wednesday at Kuno.
(With PTI inputs)