Cheetah Mitras: The guardian of the Cheetah at the Kuno National Park

Cheetah Mitras: The guardian of the Cheetah at the Kuno National Park

After seven decades since the cheetah went extinct in India, recently, eight cheetahs have been brought from Namibia, an African country, to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. The transportation, shifting, and the release of cheetahs by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been in the national headlines for nearly a week. With their arrival, the national park has started its re-introduction procedure. There are concerns about whether they can survive the Indian landscape. Kuno was a wildlife sanctuary till 2018 when it was upgraded to a national park. One of the ways the government is attempting to make this run smoothly is with the help of “Cheetah Mitras”. To minimise human-animal conflicts in the region surrounding the national park, the government has roped in around 400 people from the region. The people involved by the government would work to spread awareness, and familiarise the local population with the matters about cheetahs. A national park is huge and the wild animals roam freely in it. Hence, the population around the national park may pose a threat to the lives of these new animals. The Cheetah Mitras will handle the risk from both ends, they minimize animal poaching and illegal killers and prevent cheetah attacks on common people. There are 400 Cheetah Mitras from 51 villages, including patwaris, village heads, schoolteachers, and even a dacoit. They will educate villagers, aid government officials, and help tourists with the affairs related to the cheetahs.