Bhopal: Greater than 1,000 canines have been given anti-rabies vaccine doses round Kuno Nationwide Park in Madhya Pradesh, the place cheetahs are being introduced from Africa subsequent week as a part of India’s bold challenge to reintroduce these quickest land animals, an official mentioned.
The transfer is geared toward defending the cheetahs from rabies, he mentioned.
Eight cheetahs – 5 males and three females – are anticipated to succeed in KNP from Namibia on September 17. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the cheetah reintroduction programme on that day, which can be the PM’s birthday, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had mentioned earlier this week.
“Greater than 1,000 stray and home canines in villages positioned within the 5 km periphery of KNP have been given anti-rabies photographs in an try to make sure that the wild animals, together with cheetahs, keep protected within the sanctuary,” KNP’s Divisional Forest Officer P Ok Verma advised PTI.
He, nevertheless, denied that the canines are being vaccinated as a result of cheetahs could prey on them.
The forest official admitted that this was the primary time that the park officers went on a large anti-rabies vaccination drive.
“Normally, a leopard kills an animal and after devouring a portion of the carcass it leaves the remaining half solely to return to eat the leftovers later after feeling hungry. In the intervening time, if a rabid canine eats that leopard prey’s leftover, the massive cat is certain to catch rabies and unfold it amongst different wild animals within the forest,” Verma mentioned.
Notably, in September 2013, a rabid canine had bitten the tail of a three-year-old tiger in Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) within the state. The tiger coded P-212 was later given an anti-rabies injection by the forest division to save lots of the wild animals, particularly the massive cats.
“In case a rabid canine bites cattle across the jungle and whether it is preyed on by any of the cheetahs which are coming to the park, these animals can get contaminated. And this will trigger an infection amongst different cheetahs,” he mentioned.
Verma mentioned that the drive to offer anti-rabies vaccine to canines which began in April is nearly over.
“We’ve vaccinated the canines in opposition to different ailments too,” he added.
The observe of giving injections to the cattle across the park for a very long time he mentioned, including that for the primary time they’ve targeted on canines as a way to shield cheetahs.
India has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Namibia for importing cheetahs. Some cheetahs are additionally proposed to be introduced from South Africa. However that nation’s president has not signed an MoU signaling that that nation may be having some points, official sources mentioned.
The final cheetah died within the nation in 1947 within the Korea district in current day Chhattisgarh, which was earlier a part of Madhya Pradesh, and the species was declared extinct in 1952.
The ‘African Cheetah Introduction Mission in India’ was conceived in 2009 and a plan to introduce the massive cat by November final yr in KNP suffered a setback because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officers mentioned.
The KNP has an excellent prey base for cheetahs. Specialists from the Wildlife Institute of India have additionally seconded the world, an official mentioned.
Madhya Pradesh had an excellent translocation file as tigers have been efficiently reintroduced in Panna in 2009, he mentioned.
Ajay Dubey, wildlife skilled and founding father of Prayat, mentioned, “Cheetahs have grow to be extinct because of widespread poaching. The final three cheetahs have been killed by the King of Korea within the forests that are actually the world of Ghasidas Nationwide Park.”