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University of Pretoria Vets Lead Revival of India’s Extinct Cheetah By Importing From Africa

Aug 02, 2022

Umamah Bakharia

University of Pretoria (UP) academics are playing a lead role in driving the reintroducing of wild cheetahs into India to ensure the species’ survival. With the global cheetah population in decline, the Project Cheetah initiative is part of a long-term plan to increase the number of free-ranging (wild) cheetahs.

Speaking to Radio Islam, one of the veterinary wildlife specialists on the initiative, Professor Adrian Tordiffe of UP’s Faculty of Veterinary Science, says the extinction of cheetahs is mainly due to hunting and prey base in India.

“The last cheetah that’s on record that was shot in 1947 in India making the species locally extinct,” says Professor Tordiffe.



According to the study, the only difference in the Asianic cheetah is that the Southern African cheetahs have a longer coat and slender legs.

“It was decided to use the biggest population of cheetah which is the southern African cheetahs, so they will be cheetahs going from Namibia and South Africa to India,” says Professor Tordiffe.

The initiative’s aim is to reintroduce them to some reserves in central and western parts of India, where there are currently no key species.


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