By Ankita Garg
There is a good news for wildlife lovers in Madhya Pradesh as Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary would be welcoming African spotted cat by month of August or September. Principal Secretary of Madhya Pradesh Forest Department Ashok Varnwal has said that talks with Namibian Government, contracts on all points is in final stage. A team of six forest officials, including District Forest Officer (DFO), Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) and veterinary doctors, will be departing for Namibia within 15 days. Documents including passport of all these officials are submitted for further ticket details. Forest officials informed that Dean of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, Y V Jhala has recently returned from Namibia. She submitted positive response of visit and said that everything went well in talks for further translocation of cheetahs. She said that MoU between India and Namibia is in pipeline and soon agreement will be give green signal to the translocation of animal. Proposal has been made to bring 20 cheetahs in India in August or September.
However, it is yet to be decided the count of male and female cheetahs. Experts have given their suggestion to make some improvement in Kuno Sanctuary in next three months May, June and July for welcoming the cheetah. DFO P K Verma said, “we have not received any official information of receiving cheetah from Namibia but there are directions to improve the facilities. Team of six people will be leaving for Namibia but date is yet to finalise.” He further said that special enclosures are ready to keep the spotted cat for six months. Sources said that proposal is there to sign contract for 35 to 40 cheetahs in India in different phases. In five years, cheetah will be brought to India in several phases and they will be relocated to different states of India. Cheetah project of Madhya Pradesh Forest Department was proposed about three years back and it is being delayed for various reasons. Madhya Pradesh Forest in order to manage the stress level of cheetah after travelling in airways, experts’ team will be visiting the State. The team will be training forest staff of Kunopalpur for stress management in spotted cat. It would cost around Rs 75 crore for maintenance of cheetah in five years.