Wild cheetahs to be reintroduced to India 70 years after their extinction in the country

Wild cheetahs to be reintroduced to India 70 years after their extinction in the country

Cheetahs were nearly driven to extinction in India, a new effort may reintroduce the big cats back into the wilds of India again.

July 26, 2022
Cheetahs were nearly driven to extinction in India when a maharaja — or Hindu prince — hunted down the last one in the country in 1952, but a new India-Namibia effort may reintroduce the big cats back into the wilds of India again. 
India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change posted the announcement on July 20, stating that the Government of India and Government of the Republic of Namibia have “entered into an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization, today, for establishing the cheetah into the historical range in India.”  
View post on Twitter
In a deal with India’s Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, Namibia is scheduled to send over eight cheetahs. 
However, India-based conservation biologist Sanjay Gubbi told NBC News in an interview Thursday that African cheetahs are a different subspecies from India’s native Asiatic cheetah. 
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

The African variety are “habit specialists” that require large grassland areas to survive.
Kuno Park’s 540 square miles of grassland mixed with woodland is not “the best cheetah habitat,” said Wildlife Conservation Trust PAnish Andheria. 
“Ideally, cheetahs need vast areas of 3,000-4,000 sq km to run around in, particularly male cheetahs,” Andheria told the South China Morning Post.
The ideal area comes out to roughly 1,158 to 1,522 square miles, a far cry from the 540 square miles that will be given to them. The hope is that the animals will adapt.
India plans to transport 50 more African cheetahs from South Africa, but no official agreement has been made. 
Intentions of bringing more African cheetahs to the country has been in the works since 2010, with the plan originally being to get cats from Iran, where they have the same Asiatic cheetah. Iran refused, however, claiming it also had very few cheetahs left. 
A mere 7,000 cheetahs live in the wild globally, with most of them in African savannahs. 
Some experts describe India’s efforts to be futile, saying the funding should be allocated towards other endangered species instead, such as caracals (wildcats) or wolves. 
Featured Image via BBC Earth
      Jane Nam

      Jane Nam ABD Phd Candidate in Social & Political Philosophy, currently located in Atlanta, GA. Interested in topics of human experience, freedom, responsibility, and love.




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.