By Staff Reporter
Sheopur, April 3 — The recent sighting of Oban the cheetah near the Kuno National Park in the Sheopur district has caused much excitement among wildlife enthusiasts. The cheetah, which had strayed into a nearby field, was safely returned to the jungle by the forest department after much effort.
On Saturday night, Oban was spotted by villagers who promptly alerted the forest officials. The officials rushed to the village and observed the cheetah sitting on a farm in the adjacent Jhar Baroda village of Vijaypur. The forest officials made a video of Oban, which went viral on social media.
Cheetahs are known to rest in the shade during the day, so the forest team waited for the evening hours to ensure Oban’s return to the jungle of Kuno. The officials created a safe passage for Oban at sunset, which the cheetah followed to return safely to the jungle. According to District Forest Officer (DFO) Prakash Kumar Verma, it is common for cheetahs to enter nearby fields and return to the jungle.
The sighting of Oban is significant as it is one of four Namibian cheetahs that were released into the wild of Kuno National Park. The cheetahs are roaming the open forest of the park and getting familiar with every corner of it. They cover an area of 10 to 15 km per day and are slowly acclimatizing to their new environment.
The return of Oban to the jungle is a positive sign for the conservation of cheetahs in India. Cheetahs were declared extinct in India in 1952, and the last recorded sighting was in 1947. Efforts are now being made to reintroduce cheetahs to India, and the release of four cheetahs in Kuno National Park is part of this effort.
The reintroduction of cheetahs to India is a challenging task as it requires creating a suitable habitat and ensuring a steady supply of prey animals. The forest department is working towards creating a suitable habitat for cheetahs in Kuno National Park, which has an abundant supply of prey animals such as antelopes and deer.
The sighting of Oban and the successful return to the jungle is a small but significant step towards the conservation of cheetahs in India. It is hoped that the four Namibian cheetahs released in Kuno National Park will thrive in their new environment and help to reestablish the cheetah population in India. The efforts of the forest department in ensuring the safety of Oban and creating a suitable habitat for cheetahs are commendable and need to be supported by all stakeholders in wildlife conservation. – Namibia Daily News