Sheopur/Gwalior: More than 25 cheetahs will be brought to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur National Park (KNP) from Namibia and South Africa in a phased manner in the future, Union minister Bhupender Yadav said on Sunday.
Initially, eight cheetahs will arrive at the KNP on September 17, the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change said.
Yadav along with MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar took stock of the preparations for the event to be held on September 17 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the cheetahs into specially-built enclosures at the KNP in Sheopur district.
Talking to reporters in Gwalior, Yadav said that under the Cheetah Reintroduction Project, more than 25 cheetahs will arrive from Namibia and South Africa in the future. ”Initially, eight cheetahs are coming to Kuno Palpur from Namibia, which will be released by the prime minister,” he said.
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Meanwhile, Chouhan announced that the villages located in the KNP, from where people were shifted, will be given the status of ”revenue villages”. Bringing cheetahs from another continent to the KNP under the reintroduction project is the biggest event in wildlife history of this century, Chouhan said.
Cheetahs, which became extinct not only from India but also from Asia, will now be resettled here, he said.
The chief minister said the prime minister will release the cheetahs into two enclosures, where the animals will quarantine for some time and later be released in big enclosures.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters in Bhopal, state Congress chief Kamal Nath took a swipe at the event being organized on September 17 and said that according to last year’s report, Sheopur was the district with the highest malnutrition in the state.
”About 21,000 malnourished and 5,000 severely malnourished children were found in the district,” he said, adding that Sheopur also leads in the nutritious food scam.
The former chief minister said that instead of addressing the issue of malnutrition issue, Modi and Chouhan are holding an event there.
”Cheetahs could be released later, but malnutrition should be eradicated first and its scam should be discussed,” he said while accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of misleading the people.