1 of 3 leopards trapped in the park for African cheetahs captured after 3 weeks | Latest India News

Bhopal: After constant efforts for three weeks, foresters in Madhya Pradesh have managed to catch one of three leopards trapped inside the enclosure designed for the safe transfer of African cheetahs to the national park from Kuno to Sheopur, officials said.

Dozens of forest officers and experts from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) are trying to catch the three leopards. A large cage trap, foot traps and even elephants have been called from the Satpura Tiger Reserves to catch the leopards.

“Friday evening, the leopard was trapped in a cage. He was tranquilized and moved by forest officers,” said JS Chauhan, senior chief conservator of forests and wildlife. “We are pleased with the success and will be moving two more soon.”

Leopards inside the special enclosure, 12 km2 long and 9 meters high to save the cheetahs from predators, could delay the translocation to Kuno. The cheetahs will reach India by mid-September, Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Singh said last week.

Meanwhile, Namibian environmental officials have refused to replace the three rejected cheetahs because they were bred in captivity.

“The cheetahs were selected by the Indian authorities and the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), Namibia. But after a recent visit, Indian government officials rejected three cheetahs,” said Romeo Muyunda, public relations officer at the Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Tourism. “Now we are going to provide five cheetahs to India because we don’t have enough of the cheetah population.”

The African nation was supposed to send 17 cheetahs to India.

“Replacement is not possible now because after vaccination and medical control the cheetahs are in quarantine,” said an expert from Africa, who did not wish to be named. “A lengthy procedure was followed before quarantine, so only five cheetahs will be flown to India.”

Meanwhile, South Africa has yet to sign a memorandum of understanding with India regarding the transfer of 12 cheetahs. South African officials will visit India to check the risk management plan before signing the deal.

The risk management plan prepared by the Cheetah Metapopulation Project contains detailed information on measures to be taken to prevent disease transmission, mortality in transit, low survival rate after release, human conflict and the fauna and long-term genetic and demographic viability of wild cheetahs.

In Kuno, two helipads are being prepared by the public works department of Palpur, a central area of ​​the forest, as the cheetahs will arrive by special Indian Air Force helicopters from Jaipur.

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