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For the first time in 70 years, the world’s fastest land animal will be living in India again.

Back in 2020, India’s Supreme Court gave the go ahead for African cheetahs to be brought into the country. This comes after the Asiatic cheetah became extinct in India during the 1940s due to excessive hunting and loss of habitat.

South Africa has signed an agreement with India to send African cheetahs to the country over the next eight to 10 years.

The first 12 cheetahs will make their way to India in February. They were originally meant to be relocated in August, but details regarding agreement still had to be finalised.

Adrian Tordiffe is a vet wildlife specialist at the University of Pretoria who is involved with the project. He told AFP news agency that “the cheetahs in quarantine… are all still doing well”.

South Africa is not the only African country to be part of this Indian project.

In 2022, Namibia sent eight cheetahs to India as part of the agreement between the two countries. They were released at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh state.

The BBC reports that the park, 320km south of New Delhi, is a wildlife sanctuary with abundant prey and grasslands.

Image credit: Wikipedia

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