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Cheetah That Strayed Out Of MP's Kuno National Park Rescued Before Entering UP

A male cheetah, named Oban, was rescued for the second time this month as it strayed out of Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, India, and was about to cross over to a forest in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. After being tranquilised and brought back to the park, Oban, now renamed as Pavan, was released again, highlighting the challenges of the ambitious cheetah reintroduction program in the region.

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A male cheetah that strayed out of the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh last week has been rescued while it was about to cross over to a forest in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and brought back to the park, an official said on Sunday.  This is the second time this month that cheetah Oban has been tranquilised and brought back to the KNP after the feline wandered a long distance from the park.  After being tranquilised at Karera forest in Shivpuri district, cheetah Oban, now renamed as Pavan, was released in Palpur forest of the Kuno National Park at around 9.30 pm on Saturday, KNP's Divisional Forest Officer Prakash Kumar Verma told PTI. 

The cheetah was moving towards Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh when it was rescued. The spotted cat was around 150 km away from the KNP at that time, the official said. On April 7, the feline, which has strayed out of the KNP multiple times, was rescued from Bairad area in Shivpuri after being tranquilised and brought back to the park, officials said. Eight Namibian cheetahs, comprising five females and three males, were brought to the KNP as part of an ambitious reintroduction programme of the species and were released into special enclosures on September 17, 2022 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

One of them, Sasha, died of a kidney ailment on March 27. Another cheetah, named Siyaya, recently gave birth to four cubs. On February 18 this year, 12 cheetahs, comprising seven males and five females, were brought to the KNP from South Africa. The last cheetah died in India in Koriya district in present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947, and the species was declared extinct from the country in 1952.

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