7 Nov 2022

Madhya Pradesh: Released cheetahs seen frolicking; one of big enclosures in Kuno still occupied by leopard

Sheopur: One of the big cheetah enclosures in Kuno National Park of Madhya Pradesh is still occupied by a leopard, so cheetahs will not be released in it for now. 

In the last four months, the leopard could not be pulled out of the enclosure even after several attempts by the Kuno management. A high wire mesh wall was erected around the leopard presence area to protect the cheetahs.

Eight large enclosures of different sizes have been built in Kuno where the cheetahs are set to be released before their eventual release in the wild.

On Saturday evening, both the cheetahs released from the quarantine enclosure into the big enclosure were seen running and frolicking. Although the cheetahs did not do any hunting till Sunday evening, they did try to hunt. 

Two male cheetahs out of a total of eight were released in a large enclosure on Saturday evening. 

Three months ago, three out of four leopards were taken out of the enclosure, but one could not be taken out. The elephants called from the Satpura Tiger Reserve to remove it also proved unsuccessful. 

Keeping in view the safety of the cheetahs in the enclosures, solar electric fencing has been installed, so that no one can enter the enclosure even after cutting it.

Fencing done to prevent leopard from entering cheetah enclosure

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Jasbir Singh Chauhan said that the area where leopard is present has been fenced so that it cannot enter the cheetah enclosure. Even in the big enclosure, their every movement is being monitored through the caller ID attached to the neck of the cheetahs. 

The two cheetahs spent most of their time together in the large enclosure. Both are brothers and they also lived together in Namibia, so they have been released in the first phase. 

There are sufficient numbers of small animals like deer, chital, sambar etc. in the enclosure for their hunting. 

There is no longer a need to provide meat to cheetahs in large enclosures. The remaining six cheetahs are still in small (quarantine) enclosures, and decision on their release will be taken soon.

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