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MP Forest Dept Tricks Herbivores into Cheetah’s Cage with 'Special' Bricks

Image for representation, Credits: Reuters

Image for representation, Credits: Reuters

Cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952 and as part of their reintroduction plans, the first batch of African big cats will be relocated to the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary.

Officials of the Madhya Pradesh Forest department have come with a special plan to lure herbivores to an enclosure being made for African Cheetah. The Cheetahs are slated to be relocated to the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Sheopur district by the end of this year and a special brick made up of pulses, jaggery and salt will be used in the forest area to draw animals such as deer to this enclosure, reported Hindustan Times. Cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952 and as part of their reintroduction plans, the first batch of African big cats will be relocated to the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. While the entire area of this sanctuary located in the Chambal region of MP spreads of 750 Sq Km, a special five square kilometre fenced area within the main sanctuary will be created for the group of eight African Cheetahs that will arrive from South Africa.

Speaking about the decision, PK Verma, field director of the MP forest department said that the main aim behind this idea of using these bricks is to provide enough options of hunting to the Cheetahs within their fenced area so that they do not have to move out the vicinity of the special enclosure.

This group of cheetahs including some females will arrive in the sanctuary around October November this year and will remain in the special enclosure as the Forest Department does not want to disturb the natural habitation.

According to Alok Kumar, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), herbivores have a tendency of eating soil, and licking these bricks will satisfy that craving as it tastes similar and better to the soil.

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About 400 units of these bricks will be used in a phased manner and the aim to attract at least 200-400 herbivores in the fenced area before translocation of cheetahs. Previously, similar bricks were used in Kanha Tiger Reserve to draw herbivores from buffer to core area.

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first published:July 13, 2021, 19:44 IST