SC not against relocation of African cheetah to India

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday said it was not against the policy on relocating African cheetah from Namibia to Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice B.R. Gavai, said this while supporting the National Tiger Conservation Authority's (NTCA) move.

But the court posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks, saying how it would know whether the cheetah would survive. The NTCA said, the sanctuary had various animals, like tiger and leopard.

The NTCA submitted that all potential sites for reintroducing cheetah will be reassessed and an action plan be developed for required measures, prior to the reintroduction.

On February 22, the NTCA had informed the top court about its plan on African cheetahs citing International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report, which provides inputs to governments and institutions on biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development. The IUCN had okayed the translocation, the NTCA said.

A century ago, several thousands cheetahs were existing mostly in Africa, India and other parts of Asia. Today, fewer remained in some parts of Africa.

The Asiatic cheetah became extinct in India in 1952. Currently, wildlife experts have short-listed some regions with the potential to support cheetah populations.

--IANS

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