Cheetah roaming near urban area tranquilised, brought back to Kuno National Park

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Cheetah Asha travelled more than 300km in the past 25 days and was roaming close to the human habitat in Ishagarh area of Ashok Nagar district in Madhya Pradesh

A female cheetah, who travelled more than 300km in the past 25 days, was tranquilised and brought back to Kuno National Park (KNP) on Monday morning as the animal was roaming close to the human habitat in Ishagarh area of Ashok Nagar district in Madhya Pradesh, forest officials said.

Cheetah Steering Committee head Rajesh Gopal, who had earlier said that cheetahs will not be tranquillised to bring back to KNP, said that permission was given to tranquilise Cheetah Asha as wild animals can’t be allowed inside human habitat according to protocol

“The cheetahs will be allowed to roam only in forest areas and that’s why forest team didn’t interfere when Cheetah Asha was roaming in Madhav National Park and forest of Chanderi for the past 25 days,” Gopal said.

“But as Asha went close to urban area of Ashok Nagar district, about 150 km away from the park, we followed the standard protocol and tranquilised her to bring her back,” he said.

Following the footsteps of Pawan, a cheetah who was tranquilised twice to bring back to KNP, Asha came out of the core area on May 19, and was roaming in Shivpuri. She spent at least 15 days in Madhav National Park in Shivpuri, where recently three tigers have been introduced.

Talking to local media, Kuno National Park, divisional forest officer (DFO), Prakash Verma said, “On Sunday morning, the team of three doctors and field director Uttam Kumar Sharma reached near Ishagarh. In the morning the team tried to dart the cheetah but they failed. The team tried again at 5pm and darted her. After Cheetah fainted, the doctor and the cheetah experts blindfolded it and put it in the cage.”

Asha has been released in the wild area of KNP after she gained consciousness.

In KNP, eight cheetahs have been released in the wild while 10 cheetahs including a cub are present in the enclosure. In the coming months, six more cheetahs will be released into the wild of Kuno National Park.

On September 17 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first batch of eight cheetahs from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at KNP, as part of an effort to revive the species’ population in India.

Hindustan Times


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