12 cheetahs arrived in Madhya Pradesh from South Africa and were released into the quarantine enclosures at the Kuno National Park (KNP), five months after the first batch of eight of these fastest land animals were brought there from Namibia, another African nation.
The Cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal.
- Cheetahs have a slender body with long legs, a small round head, and distinctive black spots on their tan fur.
- They are carnivorous animals and hunt mainly small to medium-sized antelopes such as gazelles and impalas.
Distribution of Cheetahs
- Historically, Asiatic Cheetahs had a very wide distribution in India, occurring from as far north as Punjab to Tirunelveli district in southern Tamil Nadu, from Gujarat and Rajasthan in the west to Bengal in the east.
Original Geographical Range
- Thus, the Cheetah’s habitat was very diverse – scrub forests, dry grasslands, savannas and other arid and semi-arid open habitats.
- In 1952, the cheetah was declared officially extinct in India.
- Today, Cheetahs are found in only 9% of their historic range, occurring in a variety of habitats such as savannahs in the Serengeti(Protected area in Tanzania), arid mountain ranges in the Sahara and hilly desert terrain in Iran.
- Namibia has the largest population of Cheetahs in the world, earning it the title “The Cheetah Capital of the World”.
- Cheetahs (African) are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
Cheetah Conservation Fund
- It is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Namibia, founded in 1990.
- Its mission is to be the internationally recognized center of excellence in the conservation of cheetah’s and their ecosystems.
- CCF was the result of efforts of Dr. Laurie Marker who moved to Namibia to fight farmer-cheetah conflict in the region.