- PM Modi addressed the nation on the occasion of his 72nd birthday.
- He released eight Cheetahs into the Kuno National Park in Sheopur, MP.
- The Cheetahs arrived in Gwalior from Namibia this morning.
Modi Birthday: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed the nation on the occasion of his 72nd birthday. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader released eight Cheetahs that arrived in MP's Gwalior from Namibia this morning. During his address, he spoke at length about the significance of this move, and said, people should give cheetahs the time to make Kuno national park their home.
"People will have to show patience and wait for a few months to see these Cheetahs in Kuno National Park. These Cheetahs have come as guests, unaware of this area. For them to be able to make Kuno National Park their home, we'll have to give these Cheetahs a few months' time," he said.
Modi, who turned 72 on Saturday, released three of the eight cheetahs, who made the transcontinental flight, in an enclosure by operating a lever. The PM said it was unfortunate that “we declared cheetah extinct in 1952, but for decades no constructive efforts were made to reintroduce them.”
He thanked the government of Namibia for help in the programme to reintroduce cheetahs in India. “Project Cheetah, under which the cheetahs were reintroduced in the country after they became extinct seven decades ago, is our endeavour towards environment and wildlife conservation,” he said.
“Cheetahs are our guests; we should give them a few months to make Kuno national park their home," Modi said.
The cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952. The cheetahs have been brought under an MoU signed earlier this year.
Cheetahs will help in the restoration of open forest and grassland ecosystems in India and will help conserve biodiversity and enhance the ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration and soil moisture conservation.