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Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary: Madhya Pradesh's Cheetah Haven



  Jun 18, 2024

Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary: Madhya Pradesh's Cheetah Haven



The Madhya Pradesh government has completed the preparations for its ambitious cheetah reintroduction project at Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, which will serve as the second home for cheetahs in India after Kuno National Park (KNP). This significant development was confirmed by an official on Tuesday.

Preparations and Assessments

Teams from Kenya and South Africa had previously visited Gandhi Sagar to assess the conditions and feasibility of the project. Following their evaluations, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav chaired a wildlife board meeting where it was confirmed that all necessary preparations had been completed. This included the relocation of prey animals from Kanha, Satpura, and Sanjay Tiger Reserves to ensure an adequate food supply for the cheetahs.

Key Developments

1. Relocation of Prey Animals: To support the cheetah population, cheetals have been reintroduced from Kanha and other regions. Additionally, 50 gaurs (Indian bisons) have been successfully relocated from Kanha and Satpura Tiger Reserves to the Sanjay Tiger Reserve in Sidhi district.

2. Cheetah Reintroduction History: On September 17, 2022, eight Namibian cheetahs—five females and three males—were released into enclosures at Kuno National Park. In February 2023, 12 more cheetahs were brought from South Africa. Currently, 13 of the 20 adult cheetahs survive, along with 13 cubs born to these cheetahs, putting the total population in Kuno at 26.

Future Prospects

During the recent meeting, the Chief Minister directed officials to study the feasibility of introducing rhinos and other rare and endangered wild animals into the forests of Madhya Pradesh. This initiative underscores the state’s commitment to wildlife conservation and biodiversity enhancement.

Conclusion

The successful preparation of Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary as the second home for cheetahs marks a significant milestone in India’s wildlife conservation efforts. With international collaboration and meticulous planning, Madhya Pradesh is setting a precedent in wildlife management and reintroduction projects, promising a brighter future for endangered species in the region.




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