A male cheetah named Oban, who had strayed out of Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park (KNP) last week, was rescued before he could enter neighboring Uttar Pradesh’s territory. The big cat was about to cross over a forest when he was tranquilized and brought back to KNP. This is the second time this month that Oban has been brought back to the park after going too far away from it.
KNP’s Divisional Forest Officer Prakash Kumar Verma said that Oban, now known as Pavan, was released in KNP’s Palpur forest at around 9:30 pm on Saturday after being tranquilized at Karera forest in Shivpuri district. However, he was moving towards Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh when he was rescued. The big cat was spotted around 150 km away from the park.
Pavan was first rescued on April 7 from the Bairad area in Shivpuri after being tranquilized and brought back to the park. KNP Director Uttam Sharma had earlier said that Oban does not pose any threat to humans and vice versa, so there is no need for tranquilization to bring him back. The park officials are keeping a close eye on the cheetah’s movements.
In September 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released eight Namibian cheetahs into dedicated enclosures as part of an initiative to save the species. Unfortunately, Sasha, one of the cheetahs, passed away due to a kidney condition on March 27, while another cheetah named Siyaya gave birth to four pups.
Twelve cheetahs, including seven males and five females, were brought to the KNP from South Africa on February 18. In 1947, the last cheetah in India died in the Koriya area of what is now Chhattisgarh, and in 1952 the species was declared extinct in the nation. The rehabilitation initiative, which aims to reintroduce cheetahs to India, is being undertaken in collaboration with various organizations, including the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia.