Cheetah cubs born in India after being extinct for 70 years

Cecelia Hillyer, Writer

After being extinct for more than 70 years, four cheetah cubs were born in India to one of eight cheetah’s relocated from Namibia to the Kuno National Park wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary has been trying to reintroduce cheetahs from nearby countries for the last few decades and has now found success with these births.

The cubs were born to a cheetah brought to India almost eight months ago. This cheetah was one of eight cheetahs brought over September 2022 and an attempt to repopulate the area. A month ago the sanctuary received 12 cheetahs from South Africa as well to aid in the breeding of more Asian cheetahs.

When the cheetahs arrived last year, they were the first large carnivorous animal to be moved from a continent and reintroduced into the wild.

The cubs are believed to have been born sometime around March 24th. The mother, Siyaya, and the cubs are reported to be fine and healthy. “I congratulate the entire team of Project Cheetah for their relentless efforts in bringing back cheetahs to India and for their efforts in correcting an ecological wrong done in the past,” tweeted the Environmental Minister of India. 

Cheetahs in India became extinct in the 1950’s due to hunting as well as loss of prey and habitat. There are 6,000 to 7,000 African cheetahs left in the world and less than 50 Asian cheetahs. It is estimated that in the early 1900’s there were around 100,000 cheetahs. The International Union for Conservative Red List indicates the world’s biodiversity and has classified cheetahs as endangered since 2021.

Cheetahs are a key part of the ecosystems in grasslands, savannas, and deserts within Africa and Asia. They prey on herbivores in the area and an absence of cheetahs can result in plant extinction and dwindling of water sources.

With projects like this and other programs working to protect cheetahs, it could still be possible to keep Asian cheetahs from becoming completely extinct. This project will hopefully lead as an example to the future that it is possible to save a beautiful species instead of destroying it.,are%20currently%20classified%20as%20’vulnerable.