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- Why did you choose to resettle Kuno; Learn the full story of the return of the cheetahs
Dharmendra Chauhan. Bhopal6 hours ago
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Eight cheetahs have arrived at Kuno Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh. With that, Kuno entered the discussion across the country. In this situation, the question is why was Kuno only chosen for the Cheetahs? Why was it necessary to bring cheetahs? We know the answer to these questions sequentially…
Why did you choose…
After a long study, a team of experts from India and Africa found that the kuno cheetah is suitable for conservation. Because there is enough flat surface for this fastest running animal. Here the speed of the cheetah will not be hindered. Apart from this there are also animals like chital, nilgai, sambar, jackal, black buck, monkey etc. for hunting Cheetahs like a balanced climate. In other words, neither too much rain nor too much heat, the same weather remains in Kuno. In the neighborhood are the forests of Shivpuri, the river Chambal flows.
Another factor in Kuno’s favor is that the cheetah population can be increased to 32 in 120 square kilometers of forest here. If further expansion is required, more than 70 Cheetahs can be maintained with some modifications.
Now you know the story of the extinction of cheetahs…
We begin with the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Akbar was very fond of hunting. He had kept cheetahs as pets to hunt black deer by nature. According to historical documents, there were 1000 cheetahs here. Apart from that, there were 9 to 10 thousand cheetahs in their zoo. Akbar’s son Jahangir has confirmed 9 thousand cheetahs in his biography Tuzuk-i-Jahangir. Akbar had created a cheetah taming department, in which there were many employees, who used to tame the cheetah within six months. Then they were kept tied with chains.
Akbar had more than 1000 cheetahs. Aina-e-Akbari also mentions his fondness for hunting and taming predatory animals.
it was used to tie a leash around the cheetah’s waist
Seeing Akbar, his courtiers and ministers also started taming cheetahs. Later kings and British officers also kept cheetahs as pets. The tradition of domesticating cheetahs also continued in the princely states. This is confirmed by Lilavati Jadhav, the princess of Kolhapur. According to a book called ‘Athavanitil Shikar’, Lilavati had been part of these hunting expeditions till 1940. She says that to keep the leopard under control, a leash was tied around its waist. Just like it is used for dogs today. Due to the domestication of cheetahs, their population declined rapidly.
This image is from the British era. Britain’s Prince Albert Edward visited India in 1875. He had hunted in Calcutta. In this image, a leash is tied around the waist to keep the cheetah under control. The same thing happened during the reign of Akbar.
The last 3 cheetahs were killed by the king of Chhattisgarh
In 1948, Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singhdev of the Korean state of Chhattisgarh went hunting in the forest of Salkha, a village adjacent to Baikunthpur. Seeing them, the villagers explained that for several days some wild animal was attacking the people. Maharaj was looking for that unknown predatory animal in the forest. Meanwhile, eyes were shining in the trees and Maharaj pointed at them. Several shots were fired one after the other. After going there after some time, I saw 3 leopards lying there. All three males were cheetahs and they weren’t even fully grown. The Maharaja, according to tradition, photographed the three dead leopards with guns. This photo was sent by his personal secretary to the Bombay Natural History Society and said that Maharaj had killed three cheetahs. After that, cheetahs were not seen anywhere in the country.
In 1948, the last three leopards were killed by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singhdev of the Korean state of Chhattisgarh. Four years later, the central government declared India an extinct cheetah country. This blurry black and white photo is the last of India’s cheetahs.
Efforts to bring the cheetah to India began from 1970 onwards
In 1970, 18 years after the cheetah was declared extinct, India resumed efforts for cheetahs. In 1970, the central government asked Iran for cheetahs, in return we had to give Iran tigers and Asiatic lions. Even after many negotiations, this deal cannot be done. The reason for this was that the number of cheetahs in Iran was very less.
Then the then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh took the initiative to bring cheetahs to India in 2010. After a decade, the case took a major turn. For the first time on January 28, 2020, the Supreme Court allowed cheetahs to be brought into India. The Court had also directed the National Tiger Conservation Authority to find suitable places for the cheetahs.
The Modi government then named it Project Cheetah. After that Kuno National Park and Nauradehi Forest Sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh were identified for cheetahs. Apart from this, Shahgarh in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan has also been selected but the final selection was made by Kuno.
In 2010, when Jairam Ramesh was environment minister, he had also tried to bring cheetahs from South Africa, but could not succeed due to legal hurdles. During this time, Jairam Ramesh also visited the Cheetah Outreach Center in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010. The picture is from that time.
Cheetahs have returned to the country after 70 years. You must have heard the roar of the lion and the tiger many times, but only a few people would know the sound of cheetahs. Hear the voice of a cheetah that came to Kuno from Namibia in this video: What is the sound of cheetahs, VIDEO: The cheetah is roaring and hissing like a cat, the voice of a cheetah came to Kuno from Namibia