12 South African cheetahs could come in February.

 The seven male and five female cheetahs are currently housed in quatrantine cages in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces.


The entrance of 12 new cheetahs to Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park, this time from South Africa, has sparked speculation. According to media reports, they will visit India on Republic Day (January 26, 2023).

However, South African sources have denied this report. The two countries' memorandum of understanding has yet to be inked, they added.

The Madhya Pradesh forest and wildlife department is preparing for the arrival of the big cats, but the Indian expert team has yet to travel for South Africa to supervise the intercontinental translocation.

Experts previously told news agency Press Trust of India that three of the twelve cheetahs were held in the Phinda quarantine boma (small enclosure) in KwaZulu-Natal province (PTI). They had told that nine others had been confined in the Rooiberg quarantine boma in Limpopo Province from July 15, 2022.

"We expect the 12 South African cheetahs — seven males and five females — to come in February," said JS Chouhan, Madhya Pradesh's principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF).

He also informed Down To Earth that they are creating new quarantine bomas for the new cheetahs (DTE). "They will be quarantined for one month in accordance with protocol before being released into the 5 square kilometre region for soft release into the wild," he added.

Some cheetahs will have to be replaced due to the protracted quarantine, according to Vincent van der Merwe, manager, Cheetah Metapopulation, The Metapopulation Initiative, an Endangered Wildlife Trust wildlife conservation programme. He, however, was unable to provide any additional details about the development.

According to reports, the eight cheetahs brought to Kuno on September 17, 2022, have been placed into a 5 square kilometre cage and are adjusting well to their new surroundings.