Kuno National Park Cheetah : A Daring Escape and Triumphant Repatriation: The Odyssey of Cheetah Agni
Baran, Rajasthan 26 December (City Times) : (Kuno National Park Cheetah) : In a thrilling turn of events, the Kuno National Park and Forest Department of Baran district joined forces for a daring mission to repatriate Cheetah ‘Agni’ after the magnificent feline managed to escape the confines of Kuno National Park. This operation unfolded following the successful release of two male Cheetahs, Agni and Vayu, into the Parond Forest area of Kuno National Park on December 17. However, Agni’s adventurous spirit led him to traverse the landscapes of Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh and eventually find his way into the forests of Kelwara in the Baran district.
The Great Cat’s Odyssey: Tracking and Repatriation
The tracking team of Kuno National Park diligently monitored the movements of the escaped Cheetah, Agni, as he embarked on an unexpected journey. The team, consisting of Cheetah experts and forest department personnel, initiated a coordinated effort to repatriate Agni, who had ventured into Baran with its contiguous border with Kuno. The operation involved a fleet of vehicles, and Baran DFO Deepak Gupta, along with Ranger Tarun Rawat, played crucial roles during the trekking and repatriation operation.
Challenges of Bordering Wilderness
DFO Deepak Gupta shed light on the challenges faced in managing wild animals near the border areas of Kuno National Park and Baran district. He stated, “The forest of Kuno National Park and the forest of Baran district have the same border, both are adjacent to each other, hence many times wild animals move from there to here and from here to there.” Gupta also mentioned a recent incident in the Shahabad area where Cheetah movement was observed, although the animal eventually succumbed to mortality.
The Cheetah Reintroduction Project Unveiled
The incident of Agni’s escape and subsequent repatriation is embedded in the larger context of the ‘Cheetah Reintroduction Project’ underway at Kuno National Park. The release of Cheetahs Agni and Vayu on December 17 marked a significant milestone in this ambitious initiative. The project aims to reintroduce Cheetahs into the wild, providing a unique opportunity for tourists to witness these majestic creatures within the designated area of Kuno National Park.
The Grand Vision: Cheetahs in Kuno National Park
Kuno National Park, sprawling across the northern side of the Vidhyachal mountains with an expansive area of 344.686 sq km, holds the promise of becoming a haven for the reintroduced Cheetah population. The park’s nomenclature is derived from a tributary of the Chambal River, adding to the richness of its ecological significance. The noteworthy translocation of Cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa underlines the collaborative efforts of an expert team comprising government officials, scientists, wildlife biologists, and veterinarians from across the globe.
In the Wake of Success and Challenges
While the release of 20 Cheetahs into Kuno National Park is a commendable achievement, it is not without its share of challenges. Of the initial batch of 20 Cheetahs, eight unfortunately lost their lives. However, the project perseveres, with the second batch of twelve Cheetahs from South Africa being successfully translocated and released in February 2023.
The ‘Cheetah Reintroduction Project’ operates under the meticulous supervision of an expert team, embodying the commitment of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to the conservation and revitalization of India’s rich biodiversity. As the escapades of Cheetah Agni unfold, the larger narrative of this pioneering project continues to unfold, shaping the future of wildlife conservation in India.
In conclusion, the saga of Cheetah Agni’s escape and subsequent repatriation from Baran highlights the challenges and complexities involved in wildlife conservation efforts. The incident underscores the importance of vigilant monitoring and collaborative efforts between different regions and wildlife departments to ensure the safety and well-being of endangered species like cheetahs. As we navigate the delicate balance between conservation and coexistence, it is crucial to learn from such experiences and strengthen strategies to protect and preserve the rich biodiversity that graces our national parks and forests.
The successful repatriation of Cheetah Agni also signifies the resilience of conservation initiatives like the ‘Cheetah Reintroduction Project.’ Despite the hurdles, the commitment of wildlife experts, forest departments, and local communities remains unwavering. As we celebrate the triumph of returning Agni to the Kuno National Park, it becomes a beacon of hope for the ongoing efforts to reintroduce and safeguard these majestic creatures in their natural habitats.