PM Modi names one cheetah Asha, other big cats have been christened too

Published on Sep 18, 2022 09:59 PM IST

During a much-publicised event held on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the eight cheetahs in special enclosures in the park, formally introducing them to the Indian wild.

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 Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park has welcomed eight cheetahs, its newest members, brought all the way from Namibia in an effort to revive the big cat's population in the country after it went extinct 70 years ago.

During a much-publicised event held on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the eight cheetahs in special enclosures in the park, formally introducing them to the Indian wild.

Also read | All 8 cheetahs in good health, stayed calm during the flight

According to a report carried by Hindustan Times's sister publication Live Hindustan, Modi named one of the felines ‘Asha’ which means hope in Hindi.

The name holds a special meaning as India embarks on a journey to reintroduce cheetahs to its wild which will also aid in environmental sustainability and protection.

The name finds its meaning in the hope that 4-year-old Asha will help increase the cheetah population in the Kuno National Park.

The report further said a 2.5-year-old Cheetah, born in April 2020 at the Erindi Private Game Reserve in Namibia, has been named Bilsi.

The oldest big cat, aged five, has been christened Sasha. She is said to be a close friend of another fellow cheetah, named Savannah.

While Sunday marks the only second day for the African cheetahs in the Indian wild, an expert said the species are adaptable and India has a history of their presence.

This is the first time a large carnivore had been moved from one continent to another and being reintroduced to the wild.

More cheetahs from Namibia are expected to come to India in the coming years, the executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund who coordinated the translocation of cheetahs from Namibia to India, Laurie Marker, has told news agency ANI.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist with 4+ years with digital media, Shubhangi Gupta covers political, world, and business news for Hindustan Times, New Delhi.

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