Cheetahs from South Africa go to parks in India, Mozambique

Sep 7, 2022, 11:15 AM | Updated: Sep 8, 2022, 4:13 am
Wildlife veterinarian Andy Frasier darts a cheetah to be tranquilized and loaded into a crates, at ...

Wildlife veterinarian Andy Frasier darts a cheetah to be tranquilized and loaded into a crates, at a reserve near Bella Bella, South Africa, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. South African wildlife officials have sent four cheetahs to Mozambique this week as part of efforts to reintroduce the species to neighboring parts of southern Africa. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

(AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

BELA-BELA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa is flying cheetahs to India and Mozambique as part of ambitious efforts to reintroduce the distinctively spotted cats in regions where their population has dwindled.

Four cheetahs captured at reserves in South Africa have been flown to Mozambique this week after being held in quarantine for about a month and cleared for travel. Conservationists are preparing to fly 12 more cheetahs, reputed to be the world’s fastest land mammals, to India in October.

Speaking to The Associated Press shortly after those going to Mozambique were tranquilized and placed into crates, wildlife veterinarian Andy Frasier said the relocations are tough for the animals.

“It’s a very stressful process for the cats to be in a boma (livestock enclosure) environment because they have nowhere to go whilst we are darting them,” said Frasier of shooting the cats with darts of tranquilizers.

“We need to use our drug doses very carefully and make sure that we give them enough drugs to anesthetize them safely,” he said.

“They have woken up nicely in their crates and they are all relaxed enough that we are happy for them to leave in their transport,” he said.

Frasier said the team is preparing for the larger and more challenging relocation of cheetahs to India which will require the cats to travel a much longer distance with stops in commercial airports.

Those cheetahs would be treated with a tranquilizer that lasts for three to five days during their travel, he said.

There are two subspecies of cheetahs. Those that once roamed in Asia were declared extinct in India in 1952 and are now found only in Iran. Since then there have been efforts to reintroduce these cats to India’s savannahs. Initially the plan was to bring in cheetahs from Iran but now they are being moved from southern African countries.

In this restocking effort, Namibia is contributing eight cheetahs which will be flown to India this month, according to Vincent van der Merwe, manager of the Cheetah Metapopulation Initiative. South Africa will send an additional 12 cheetahs to India in October, he said.

“For a genetically viable population in India in the long-term you need at least 500 individuals, so every year we will send eight to 12 animals, to top them up, to increase numbers, to bring in new genetics until they have a viable population,” said van der Merwe.

Indian officials say the move will aid global cheetah conservation efforts since their range in Africa is limited. The plan is for the cats to be kept in large enclosures in central Indian forests, protected from other predators like leopards or bears, to give them time to get used to their new home. The enclosures have prey — like deer and antelope — which scientists hope the cheetahs will hunt. After a few months of close monitoring, the cheetahs will be radio-collared and released.

The southern African countries of South Africa, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe still have significant cheetah populations and are expected to play a significant role in their reintroduction in India following the first shipments this year.

South Africa’s cheetah population is expanding at a rate of about 8% annually, allowing the country to move about 30 of the cats to other game reserves within South Africa and to export some to other countries, van der Merwe said.

Conservationists say Mozambique’s Zambezi River delta had a significant cheetah population which was drastically reduced by rampant poaching and because lions and leopards preyed upon the smaller cats.

In this week’s operation the two male and two female adult cheetahs were tranquilized in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province and then were flown to Mozambique’s Marromeu National Reserve in the Zambezi delta region.

___

Magome contributed from Johannesburg. AP journalist Aniruddha Ghosal in New DeIhi, India, contributed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris waits outside the Vice President's Sept. 16, 2022, in Washingto...
Associated Press

Ceremony and controversy await Harris during visit to Asia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attending funerals on behalf of the United States is normally a straightforward assignment for a vice president, but Kamala Harris will confront controversy at nearly every turn as she visits Asia for the memorial honoring former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. American allies are seeking clarity after mixed messages over whether President […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Fire breaks out at world’s biggest produce market in Paris

PARIS (AP) — Paris firefighters are battling a warehouse blaze at a massive produce market that supplies France’s capital and its surrounding region with much of its fresh food and bills itself as the largest of its kind in the world. Footage shared on social media of the blaze Sunday at the Rungis market showed […]
1 day ago
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooti...
Associated Press

Democrats in Florida seek to win over Latinos on gun control

MIAMI (AP) — Annette Taddeo walked to a podium overlooking Miami’s Biscayne Bay and described to her audience how she had fled terrorism as a teenager in Colombia and now feared for the safety of her 16-year-old daughter at an American public school. A blue and bright orange bus behind the Democratic congressional candidate carried […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Pakistan police arrest journalist they say aided son’s crime

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani police arrested a veteran journalist for his alleged involvement in his son’s beating death of his new wife at their suburban home, police said Sunday. Police officer Mohammad Faizan said Ayaz Amir, a well-known columnist and TV political analyst in Pakistan, appeared in court in the capital of Islamabad on Sunday […]
1 day ago
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz is shown at the defense table after the d...
Associated Press

Prosecutors to begin Florida school shooter trial rebuttal

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz will begin their rebuttal case Tuesday, challenging his attorneys’ contention that he murdered 17 people because his birth mother abused alcohol during pregnancy, a condition they say went untreated. Prosecutor Mike Satz’s team is expected to call experts who […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Retired senior army officer shot dead by Myanmar guerrrilla

BANGKOK (AP) — A retired high-ranking officer in Myanmar’s military was shot dead at his home in the country’s biggest city, Yangon, in the latest such killing attributed to militants opposed to army rule. Ohn Thwin is believed to be the highest-ranking active or retired military officer assassinated since February last year, when the army […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Cheetahs from South Africa go to parks in India, Mozambique