Cheetahs to India: The plan to settle Cheetah in the country may get a setback. It is possible that now more cheetahs from South Africa will not come to India, because animal rights groups have started protesting there. According to a Times of India report, animal rights groups in South Africa have appealed to their government’s Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment to stop further relocation of cheetahs to India.
The EMS Foundation, an NGO based in South Africa, has written a letter to its government expressing its concerns about a proposed project to remove 120 wild cheetahs from South Africa and export them to India over the coming 10 years. The EMS Foundation has said that it is not right to do so without solid scientific information for the future.
NGO opposes sending cheetah
The EMS Foundation requested that the South African ministry take a precautionary approach and suspend the project until more robust scientific information and public comments are received. The NGO said it is an issue of the cheetah population in South Africa and the welfare of individual animals. There cannot be negligence in this. The EMS Foundation takes up issues related to animal welfare, conservation of biodiversity and sustainability of natural resources.
Forest officer justified the project
The NGO raised concerns that the department was relying on old non-harmful findings. Vincent van der Merwe, manager of the Cheetah Metapopulation Project, has argued that conservation is a global effort and that South Africa has gained environmental, social and economic benefits from reintroducing wild cheetahs. They believe that South Africa has a moral obligation to share this natural wealth with other countries.
Cheetahs made territory in the forest
On the other hand, the country’s only cheetah couple i.e. Ovan and Asha have got mixed up in the new environment after being released from the big enclosure of Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park in the open forest. As soon as they come to the forest, they have decided their different areas and they have also started hunting separately. The officials of Kuno National Park are happy with this. He is hopeful that based on the initial trends, the remaining six cheetahs can also be released into the wild soon.
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