Gandhisagar Sanctuary to be the home of the next batch of S. African cheetahs

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BHOPAL: In a significant development for wildlife conservation in India, the Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh has been selected as the new home for the next batch of cheetahs from South Africa. This decision marks an important step forward in the ongoing Project Cheetah, which aims to reintroduce the big cat species to India after an absence of over 70 years.

The Gandhisagar Sanctuary, located in the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh, is a sprawling expanse of grasslands, scrub forests, and wetlands, providing an ideal habitat for cheetahs. The sanctuary’s open grasslands and abundant prey base, including chital, blackbuck, and wild boar, will support the cheetahs’ survival and thriving in their new environment.

The first batch of eight cheetahs from Namibia was successfully translocated to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh in September 2022. With the initial phase of Project Cheetah showing promising results, the introduction of a second batch of cheetahs to the Gandhisagar Sanctuary is a crucial step towards establishing a viable cheetah population in India.

The selection of the Gandhisagar Sanctuary as the new home for cheetahs was based on a rigorous assessment of potential sites across India. The sanctuary’s suitable habitat, adequate prey base, and effective anti-poaching measures were key factors in its selection.

The process of bringing the next batch of cheetahs from South Africa is currently underway, with the animals expected to arrive in India by the end of this year. Upon their arrival, the cheetahs will undergo a quarantine period to ensure their health and adaptation to the Indian environment before being released into the Gandhisagar Sanctuary.

The reintroduction of cheetahs to India is a conservation milestone that holds immense significance for the country’s biodiversity. Cheetahs play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of their ecosystems, and their presence will contribute to the overall health and stability of India’s wildlife.

The Gandhisagar Sanctuary is poised to become a haven for cheetahs, providing them with a safe and nurturing environment to thrive. The sanctuary’s transformation into a cheetah habitat is a testament to India’s commitment to wildlife conservation and its efforts to restore the ecological balance that has been disrupted by human activities.

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