‘India to get more Cheetahs': Project chief amid cheer over return of big cats

Updated on Sep 18, 2022 05:05 PM IST

Laurie Marker has been an advisor to the Indian government on the Cheetah relocation project over the past 12 years.

A cheetah after being released inside a special enclosure of the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday (PTI)
A cheetah after being released inside a special enclosure of the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday (PTI)
By | Edited by Swati Bhasin

A day after eight Cheetahs arrived in India from Namibia, the executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund - who coordinated the translocation of the big cats - has said that the country will see its figure rising in coming years. Speaking to news agency ANI, Laurie Marker said: “Since its extinction, you can only get animals from somewhere else. This is the only population of cheetahs actually large enough to use for reintroduction and to establish a population, we must bring in more. India is working with South Africa for more and Namibia is also going to send more over the years."

Marker further added that “saving the Cheetah means changing the world”.

According to her, the extinction of the big cats was “caused by humans”, and that “their survival too is in the human hands”. “They are one link in the circle of life and are leading the way in the vulnerability of our earth today. It is up to all of us to be aware and make a difference. Only we can save the earth, ourselves, and the cheetah,” she added.

Also read: How Kolhapur princely state got African cheetahs in early 1900s

Laurie Marker has been an advisor to the Indian government on the Cheetah relocation project over the past 12 years. The American expert said that the “adaptation of the big cats will be challenging and will need hard work in monitoring efforts”.

“If conducted properly this will work. Cheetahs are adaptable. But there will be disappointments, we realize that and hope the world will understand as well,” she further told ANI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday released eight Cheetahs in the Kuno National Park of Madhya Pradesh. Out of the total eight, five cheetahs are female, between two and five years of age, and three are males between 4.5 and 5.5 years of age.

Also read: 'Collar ID' will track movement of cheetahs inside Kuno: All you need to know

Addressing the citizens on the release of the big cats, PM Modi called it a "historic day" and thanked Namibia for its help and efforts in restoring the carnivore to India.

“Cheetahs have come back to our land after decades. On this historic day, I want to congratulate all Indians and also thank the government of Namibia. This could not have been possible without their help,” he said.

(With inputs from ANI)

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