NEW DELHI, May 26 (Xinhua) -- India's federal government has set up a high-level steering committee to review and monitor the progress of the cheetah reintroduction program in the country, officials said Friday.
The 11-member Cheetah Project Steering Committee has been constituted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Additionally, a consulting panel of four international cheetah experts from South Africa and Namibia has been appointed to provide guidance to the steering committee.
According to the official memorandum, the committee will review progress, monitor developments, and provide guidance on the reintroduction of cheetahs to the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and NTCA.
Last year, the Indian government reintroduced cheetahs in the country for the first time, decades after declaring them extinct from their Indian habitat.
Eight cheetahs, five females and three males, were flown from Windhoek in Namibia to the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in a customized cargo plane and kept at Kuno National Park.
In February this year, a second batch of 12 more cheetahs was flown from South Africa.
The decision to form the committee came on Thursday when authorities announced the death of two more cheetah cubs at Kuno National Park. The first cub died on Tuesday.
India's cheetah reintroduction program aims to revive the population of cheetahs in India, where they became extinct over 70 years ago.
Prior to their extinction from India in 1952, cheetahs used to share space with other big cats like lions and tigers in the forests. ■