Namibian cheetahs reach their new home

Katharine Moser
Bon voyage! This was not addressed to human passengers on Friday, but to eight cheetahs that started their journey from Namibia to India.
Accompanied by a delegation of Namibian and Indian project managers, the animals were loaded onto a specially provided jet on Friday afternoon and flown to Jaipur where they landed 11 hours later.
Representatives of the Namibian Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of International Relations, as well as the High Commissioner of India to Namibia Prashant Agrawal, stressed that this is an important moment for cheetah conservation and relations between the two countries.
Romeo Muyunda, press spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment, told this publication that although the animals are a donation from Namibia to India, there would also be benefits: part of the agreement is that Namibia and India will support each other at meetings of the CITES Convention on the Protection of Species and that India would help Namibia develop resources, technologies and know-how in environmental protection.
Also on board the flight were numerous veterinary experts and staff from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), which conducted the negotiations with India. They were responsible for the health of the animals that were kept sedated during their transport.
Dr Laurie Marker, Founder and Director of the CCF said that this is a great opportunity for global conservation of the species. “We hope this export will pave the way for similar conservation efforts in future.”
The arrival of the cheetahs in India was already documented in the international news of the television channel Al Jazeera on Saturday evening.