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Poacher Caught At Kuno National Park, Home For India's Cheetahs

Kuno park has been under spotlight ever since PM released the first batch of eight cheetahs.

Bhopal:

A man with past history of poaching has been caught from the core area of Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park (KNP), which is home to cheetahs brought from Namibia and South Africa, an official said on Saturday.

A gun has been recovered from the man, Alam Mongia. He had hidden the firearm by burying it in a riverbed in the area, said Divisional Forest Officer PK Verma.

Mongia, in his 40s, lives in the vicinity of the national park and is the fourth poacher to be caught from the protected forest since cheetahs were brought into it to revive the species in the country, said the official.

According to the official, Mongia was rounded up in the core area of KNP on April 16 but they kept his detention under wraps to track down two of his associates, who are still at large.

All the four poachers arrested since the launch of the cheetah project were not involved in killing carnivores. They set up snares to hunt herbivores for bushmeat, Verma said. Mongia has poached animals in the past, Verma said.

“We grilled him. He has no connection with any big poachers’ gang,” the DFO said.

In December 2022, the carcass of a big cat was found hanging from a tree in a clutch-wire trap near MP’s Panna Tiger Reserve, with officials suspecting poachers’ role in the animal’s death.

The Kuno park has been under the spotlight ever since Prime Minister released the first batch of eight cheetahs brought from Namibia into quarantine enclosures there on September 17 last year. Of them, a female cheetah died due to a kidney ailment later.

The second lot of 12 cheetahs imported from South Africa was released on February 18. Of them, a male cheetah succumbed to cardiopulmonary problems.

The big cats have been brought to Kuno under an ambitious inter-continental translocation programme to revive their population in India. The country’s last cheetah died in Koriya district of present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947 and the species was declared extinct in 1952.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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