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No Plans To Shift Cheetahs Outside Kuno: Bhupender Yadav

On Thursday, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav told a press conference that cheetahs living in the Kuno National Park do not need to be relocated because there is enough prey available for them.

Bhupender Yadav
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Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Thursday said the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh has enough prey base for the cheetahs living there and there is no plan as of now to shift the cats anywhere else.
    
He, however, said the Gandhi Sagar wildlife sanctuary in northwestern Madhya Pradesh has been identified as an "alternative site" in case any problem emerges at Kuno in the future.
    
"But there is no plan to shift the cheetahs anywhere else for now," Yadav told a press conference where he listed the achievements of his ministry in the nine years of the government.
    
He said the cheetahs are adapting to the weather and the habitat and establishing their territories and "we should give them time to do that".
    
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first batch of eight spotted felines from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at Kuno on September 17 last year.
    
In a second such translocation, 12 cheetahs were flown in from South Africa and released into Kuno on February 18.
    
Three adult cheetahs and three cubs died in the last three months, prompting questions from several experts on the suitability of the habitat, prey base, and wildlife management at Kuno. 
    
Some even claimed that Kuno "lacked space and logistical support" and suggested shifting cheetahs to other sanctuaries.
    
In the wake of cheetah cub deaths, the Centre last month set up an 11-member high-level steering committee to review and monitor the progress of the Cheetah reintroduction programme.
    
The government and experts involved in the project have maintained that the mortalities are within the normal range.
    
The action plan for cheetah reintroduction anticipated up to 50 percent mortality in the first year of relocation.

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