The fastest land animal in the world is again going to run on Indian soil and chase current fastest animals of India – chinkara and blackbuck. Comeback of Cheetah in India is expected in November this year and project Cheetah has budget of Rs 1,400 lakh.
Cheetah will be the six big cat of India along with the Bengal tiger,Indian leopard, Indian lion, Snow leopard and clouded leopard. Currently the five pantherine cats are native to India, Jaguar and Cougar are the two largest cat in the New World, Native to the Americas.
Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion and best suitable site for Cheetah reintroduction in India. As per officials from India 8-10 Cheetahs to be brought from South Africa to Kuno in November 2021, The African Cheetah includes five male cheetahs and three females.
Cheetah once occurred from the Arabian Peninsula to India, They were used to kept in captivity by Indian royalty to use for hunting wild antelopes like chinkara and blackbuck. Today there is a Critically Endangered Asiatic Cheetah subspecies found surviving only in Iran.
Cheetah were found in India and used for hunting gazelle and blackbucks along with Caracal cat by Rajput royal, Cheetah in India was called as hunting leopard. Last Indian cheetahs were recorded from Koriya in Chhattisgarh and then Asiatic cheetah became extinct in India in 1948.
Kuno National Park is a protected area in the Sheopur and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh, Selected as a site for reintroduction of Lion and Cheetah in Madhya Pradesh and has a perfect grassland and prey base for cheetahs.
The prey for Cheetah includes chital, sambar, nilgai, chausingha, chinkara, blackbuck and wild boar. Kuno wildlife sanctuary is also home to good population of other predators such as Indian leopard, jungle cat, wild dogs, Indian wolf, golden jackal, striped hyena and Bengal fox.
Avifauna of the sanctuary includes four species of vulture, 6 species of eagle, harrier, osprey, kestrel and birds also include crane, Indian nightjar, black-shouldered kite, painted sandgrouse,Sirkeer malkoha,bay-backed shrike and Indian paradise flycatcher.
Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh is also a reintroduction site Asiatic Lion and found to be the most suitable for reintroduction in MP from Gujarat. Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary Asiatic will provide a second independent home to healthy population of Asiatic lions after Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.