Male cheetah spotted in village 20 km from Kuno National Park - Hindustan Times
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Male cheetah spotted in village 20 km from Kuno National Park

Apr 02, 2023 06:15 PM IST

According to officials of KNP, as the cheetah entered the village on the outskirts of Kuno’s buffer zone, there was panic among villagers, who claimed that the big cat killed a cattle. However, the officials have denied the claim

A male cheetah named Oban on Sunday strayed into an open field about 20 km from Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park (KNP) in a bid to find his own territory, said a forest official.

Oban is among four cheetahs imported from Namibia in September 2022 (Screengrab of video footage)
Oban is among four cheetahs imported from Namibia in September 2022 (Screengrab of video footage)

According to officials of KNP, as the cheetah entered the village on the outskirts of Kuno’s buffer zone, there was panic among villagers, who claimed that the big cat killed a cattle. However, the officials have denied the claim.

Oban is among four cheetahs imported from Namibia in September 2022, released in the wild under India’s Intercontinental Cheetah Translocation Project.

Also Read: Cheetah brought from Namibia to India gives birth to four healthy cubs

Oban was on the move towards the village from Saturday night as per the tracker attached to the cheetah’s collar, officials said.

“Oban is the most active cheetah. He is moving in most parts of the (Kuno) park. He is exploring the forest and nearby fields, which look more like Savanna grassland. It is a natural process to find one’s territory and there is no need to panic,” said Uttam Kumar Sharma, field director, Kuno National Park.

Sharma said the villagers learned about the cheetah’s presence after a forest team reached there chasing Oban. “The cheetahs in the wild are under vigilance 24x7. There is a dedicated forest team for each cheetah which traces them by following them through satellite collar,” he added.

A villager claimed he spotted the cheetah in his field on Sunday morning around 6am, while the forest team reached the village around 8am.

“The cheetah also killed a cow in the village. It is roaming in the area for the past one week and forest officials are trying to move him inside the park,” said the villager.

Also Read: Female cheetah Sasha in MP’s Kuno died of kidney failure, says autopsy report

JS Chauhan, Madhya Pradesh’s principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) (wildlife), said they are monitoring every movement of the cheetah.

“Cheetah moves very fast and we have informed villagers about their presence and deployed cheetah Mitra (to protect the Cheetahs brought from Namibia) for the security of cheetahs.”

Kuno National Park has 23 cheetahs, including four cubs born recently to a female cheetah Siyaya. Four cheetahs including Asha, Oban, Elton and Freddie were released in the wild last month.

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