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IAF Plays A Role In Trans-continental Relocation of Cheetahs to Madhya Pradesh

Last leg of airlift of big cats from Gwalior to village near Kuno National Park done in Mi-17 helicopter

Photo Credit : IAF


Crates containing the Cheetahs being offloaded from an IAF Mi-17 helicopter at village Palpur in Madhya Pradesh

The Indian Air Force (IAF) played a role in the last leg of the trans-continental airlift of eight Cheetah cats from Namibia to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. 

The eight Cheetahs, each contained in a perforated crate, were flown from Windhoek to the Gwalior’s Maharajpur airbase in a customised Boeing 747-400, known as the cat plane. 

At Gwalior, the Cheetah crates were handed over to the IAF, which lifted the predators to Palpur village in Sheopur district – a distance of about 200 km - in a Mi-17 helicopter.  Palpur is close to the Kuno National Park.

“Indian Air Force is proud to be associated in the trans-continental relocation of 8 Cheetahs to India. Cheetahs airlifted from Gwalior to Kuno National Park in IAF Mi-17 helicopter,” the IAF Tweeted on September 17. 

Officials involved in the relocation of the predatory animals of the wild told media that a dry run for airlifting the Cheetahs from Gwalior was carried by the IAF on September 15. 

The felines were offloaded from the IAF chopper at Palpur, from where these were taken to Kuno National Park (KNP) by road and subsequently released in quarantine enclosures inside the sanctuary by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

This is part of an ambitious project to reintroduce these big cats after their species was driven to extinction in India seven decades ago. The last recorded death of an Indian Cheetah was in 1948 at Koriya, now in Chhatisgarh.