Madhya Pradesh Forest Officials Make Plans To Move Cheetahs To Bigger Enclosure From Quarantine Zones
Bhopal, Nov 4 (PTI) A senior Madhya Pradesh forest department official on Friday said arrangements will be checked to see if the eight cheetahs currently in quarantine in the state's Kuno National Park can be shifted to a bigger acclimatization 'boma' (enclosure) after November 5, when they complete 50 days since arriving in India.
The cheetahs were brought to KNP from Namibia in southern Africa on September 17 and released into these quarantine enclosures by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
'I am going to KNP for a first-hand feel of the arrangements and take stock of the situation before the eight cheetahs are moved to a bigger enclosure after November 5. In the next couple of days, one or two cheetahs who are completely comfortable would be shifted to the acclimatization 'boma' spread over an area of more than 5 square kilometres,' Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) JS Chauhan told PTI on Friday.
Speaking on speculation that cheetah Asha is pregnant, he said, 'We don't know whether the feline is pregnant or not. The gestation period of a pregnant cheetah is 90 days. (the cheetahs will complete 50 days in India on Saturday). All cheetahs will shifted in a phased manner by the task force.'
KNP Divisional Forest Officer PK Verma also told PTI over phone that cheetah Asha did not have any noticeable pregnancy bump when he saw the big cat four days ago.
On Monday, the task force formed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to monitor the cheetah reintroduction had given the nod for their shifting from quarantine zones to a larger enclosure in a phased manner.
Generally, as per experts, wild animals are kept in quarantine for a month before and after translocation.
The eight cheetahs, comprising five females and three males in the 30-66 month age group and named Freddy, Alton, Savannah, Sasha, Obaan, Asha, Cibili and Saisa, are currently housed in six 'bomas' and are being reared on a diet of buffalo meat, officials said.
The last cheetah died in India in Koriya district in present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947, and the species was declared extinct in 1952.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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