Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the cheetahs that were brought from Namibia this morning at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. Sporting a fedora hat, the PM was also seen photographing the felines with a professional camera. The cheetahs were carried to the Kuno National Park from Gwalior Air Force Station on Air Force choppers on Saturday morning, which happens to be Modi’s 72nd birthday. The plane with cheetahs arrived at Gwalior's Maharajpura airbase and was received by Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia before there were sent to the national park by the air force chopper.
Speaking at the inauguration, Modi said that Cheetahs will add to bio-diversity in Kuno, boost tourism and generate income for locals. Kuno National Park was chosen for the release of cheetahs after a detailed study by experts.
He added that tourists will have to wait before the cats become used to the new climate, ecosystem, and area. The fast cats were introduced under Project Cheetah, which is the world's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Thursday.
Eight African cheetahs — five females and three males, aged between two and six years, have been brought to India from Namibia. Cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world, capable of reaching speeds of 70 miles (113 km) per hour. The cheetah is the only large mammal to become extinct in the country since its Independence from British rule. The project is the world's first inter-continental translocation of cheetahs, the world's fastest land animal, according to the Indian high commissioner to Namibia, Prashant Agrawal.
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