BHOPAL: The Animal rights groups in South Africa are urging the national Department of Fisheries Forestry and Environment to prevent further transfer of cheetahs to India, citing concerns and questioning the benefits of the relocations to South Africa.
The move comes against the backdrop of the proposed project to remove 120 wild cheetahs from South Africa over a period of ten years and export them to India. The EMS has requested that the SA ministry reconsiders and adopts a precautionary approach and halts the project until more robust scientific information and public comments are obtained on the effect of the proposed project on the cheetah population in the country.
Meanwhile, in India the Union Environment and Forest Ministry has informed that three of the first eight cheetahs brought from Namibia under the Intercontinental Cheetah translocation project will not be released in the wild in KNP since they a re not ‘truly wild and less fearful of humans’.
Talks are also on to relocate the three to Mukundara hills in Rajasthan. The Gehlot govt has offered to host the animals in the future at the forest near Kota to eventually turn the national park into a cheetah breeding centre. However, the ministry is yet to take a call on the decision. This relocation is pipelined as India plans to welcome another batch of Cheetahs in the future.