Milkha, Chetak, Vayu: The many names suggested for India's eight new cheetahs

The MyGov platform has so far received more than 750 submissions suggesting names for the eight cheetahs that have come from Namibia and released in Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park

Press Trust of India September 28, 2022 10:21:37 IST
Milkha, Chetak, Vayu: The many names suggested for India's eight new cheetahs

Eight cheetahs have been brought from Namibia as part of India's ambitious programme to bring the big cat back from extinction. PTI

New Delhi: Milkha, Chetak, Vayu, Svasti and Twara are some of the names that people have suggested for the eight cheetahs Prime Minister Narendra Modi released in the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on his birthday on 17 September.

The cheetahs have been brought from Namibia as part of India’s ambitious programme to bring the big cat back from extinction.

In his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday, Modi asked citizens to take part in contests on the MyGov platform to suggest names for the animals and the re-introduction project.

He also said the cheetahs will take some time to adapt to the new environment and a task force will make an assessment following which the government will take a call on whether the park can be opened to the public.

Prime Minister Modi said he has been receiving messages from across the country asking when will people get an opportunity to see the cheetahs.

On Tuesday, he again urged people to take part in the contests of suggesting names for the cheetahs and their reintroduction project.

The participants stand a chance to win a trip to see the cheetahs at Kuno National Park. The last date of submission is 26 October.

The MyGov platform has so far received more than 750 submissions suggesting names such as Veer, Pnaki, Bhairav, Brahma, Rudra, Durga, Gouri, Bhadra, Shakti, Brahaspati, Chinmayi, Chatura, Vira, Raksha, Medha and Mayur among others for the animals.

For the reintroduction project, more than 800 people suggested titles such as ‘Kuno ka Kundan’, ‘Mission Chitrak’, ‘Chirayu’ and ‘Chitwal’.

The cheetah has come back to India 70 years after the species was declared extinct in the country in 1952 largely due to coursing, sport hunting, overhunting and habitat loss.

Prime Minister Modi released the first batch of eight cheetahs — five females and three males — brought from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at the Kuno National Park.

The cheetahs include a malnourished female nursed back to health by farm workers and two brothers who hunt together as a team. The animals are aged between two and five years.

After their 30-day stay in the quarantine enclosure, the cheetahs would be released into a larger enclosure of more than six square kilometres to become familiar with their new environment, where they would remain for at least a month before being released into the national park that spreads across 748 square kilometres.

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