Written by Ananya Chakraborti , a grade 9 student
The world’s fastest land animal will make a comeback in India after it was last spotted in 1967-68.
Who are cheetahs?
Cheetahs are mammals, which means they are warm-blooded animals. They have a spotted fur and are carnivores who prefer to kill and eat prey like Impalas, Gazelles, and Springbok, but they will also eat Ostriches, Zebras, and Warthogs when available.
Cheetahs hunt in the daylight, as they hunt by sight and not by smell. Adult Cheetahs weigh between 63 and 143 pounds and have a head and body length of up to 55 inches or 140 centimeters.
What’s interesting about Cheetahs is that unlike other big cats they can’t roar, but they can purr. Nothing on Earth runs faster than a Cheetah as they are the fastest land animal on the planet. They can accelerate to speeds of 47 Kph in less than 2 seconds and may reach 75 miles or 120 Km per hour. Cheetahs mostly live in the grassy savanna of Africa and the Middle East some also live in parts of Asia.
The history of cheetahs in India
The first Cheetah that was bred in captivity in India was during the rule of the Mughal emperor Jahangir in the 16th century. His father Emperor Akbar had recorded that there were 10,000 Cheetahs during his time and 1000 of them were in his court only. In the 20th century, cats were imported for sport. Between 1799 and 1968 there were at least 230 Cheetahs in the wild. It is the only large mammal that has gone extinct since Independence. Hunting, diminishing of habitat and lack of prey had led to the extinction of this mammal in India.
What is the wild excitement or ecstasy about?
The world’s fastest land animal will have a comeback in India by the end of this year after being extinct for 70 years. Reportedly the last Cheetah was spotted last in 1967-68 in India. India will receive its first batch of Cheetahs from Africa which has a vast majority of Cheetahs in the world. Expert teams from Namibia and South Africa will come to India to train the Indian forest officers and wildlife experts on handling, breeding, rehabilitation, medical treatment, and conservation of the animals.
This will be the first time in the world that a large carnivore will be relocated from one continent to another. If everything goes well then eight Cheetahs- five males and three females will travel from South Africa to their new home in India. Two wildlife sanctuaries and a national park have been chosen to reintroduce Cheetahs. Kuno national park in Madhya Pradesh will be the home for the first eight Cheetahs. Wildlife experts are planning to import 40 Cheetahs more over the next five years.
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