Now, conservationists and experts continue to doubt the plan, with fears that in the country’s haste to reintroduce cheetahs, the creatures might end up being housed in semi-captive conditions rather than being allowed to roam freely. Furthermore, there is also the question of the genetic differences between the Asiatic and African cheetahs, and conservationists are rather divided on whether the differences matter.
Another pressing concern about the plan is India’s capability to reintroduce the species. According to some activists, none of the proposed locations for the reintroduction are large enough to accommodate cheetahs’ needs. What’s more, conservationists are also pointing out that India’s track record for managing big cats is rather inconsistent.
For instance, the country introduced lions to the Chandraprabha sanctuary in the 1950s, but the creatures were eventually poached “out of existence,” according to the BBC.
Hope For Cheetah Reintroduction
That said, there are also conservationists who are hopeful about the prospects of reintroducing cheetahs to India. So far, cheetahs are considered “vulnerable” by the IUCN, so giving them new habitats could help protect the population.
For now, the proper studies are being done before actually commencing the project. This will help authorities determine the most ideal location to reintroduce the cheetahs. Although the reintroduction will be done on an experimental basis, the hope is that it would somehow help stabilize or even increase the world’s cheetah population.
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