Two more Namibian cheetahs were on Wednesday released into the wild at the Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park (KNP) here, where the felines were translocated from the African country in September 2022, a forest department official said.
With this, four of the eight cheetahs brought from Namibia have been released into the wild in the park in Sheopur district.
Elton and Freddie, popularly known as “Rockstars”, were successfully released into the free range area of the park from a large enclosure at around 6.30 pm, Sheopur's divisional forest officer (DFO) P K Verma told PTI.
“Both are healthy and doing well,” he said. On March 11, two cheetahs -- Oban and Asha -- were released into the wild, almost six months after they were brought to the KNP.
Eight Namibian cheetahs -- five females and three males -- were brought to the KNP as part of a reintroduction programme aimed at reviving the species' population in India, where they became extinct more than 70 years ago.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released the cheetahs -- the world's fastest land animal -- in a special enclosure at the park on September 17 last year.
They were first moved to acclimatization enclosures from quarantine bomas (animal enclosures in November last year. They were later released into hunting enclosures of the park.
A dozen more cheetahs - seven males and five females – were brought to the KNP from South Africa on February 18, 2023. The KNP is now home to 20 cheetahs.