For the first time since they were officially declared extinct in 1952, cheetahs will be able to wander free in India. On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, an eight-cat party will travel from Namibia to India.
More than a third of the 7,000 cheetahs in the world live in South Africa and Namibia. The plan is to eventually bring at least 20 cheetahs to India.
Since the 1950s, India has worked to reintroduce cheetahs but wasn’t until 2022 their efforts came to fruition.
Many have raised concerns the relocation has risks and might put the cheetahs harm’s way.
However, officials assert they will closely monitor the cats and ensure that cheetahs are highly adaptable animals, and their relocation habitat at Kuno park is safe from prey and human-animal conflict.