Chandigarh, September 17
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday released eight cheetahs into the wilds of Madhya Pradesh's Kuno National Park. The wild cats made transcontinental flight for almost 12 hours to reach Gwalior airport from Namibia.
It’s nearly after eight decades when the wilds of the country would witness footprints of Cheetahs as the species got extinct back in 1952, when the Jawaharlal Nehru government proclaimed it.
Amid the grand welcome and nation-wide enthusiasm over retrieving an extinct species, an Indian Forest Officer, Parveen Kaswan has shared a long thread on Twitter, which chronicles human-cheetah relationship besides prevalent practices of poaching of latter by kings and Britishers during pre-independent era, leading to its extinction.
Historical record suggests cheetah were in least conflict with humans. Rather they were domesticated and used by hunting parties widely. Even some used to call them ‘hunting leopards’. 2/n pic.twitter.com/YHKpHFFHpY— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) September 16, 2022
Not only cheetah but most of the charismatic animals were hunted in those days by kings and britishers. Until the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 was passed it was very late. Cheetah were already extinct from India. Footage is archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd. 3/3 pic.twitter.com/tlX46F4EXo— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) September 16, 2022
Kaswan has also shared decades-old photos and paintings showing cheetahs chained with dogs. Few other pictures show how the wild cats were used for hunting in ancient times.
A painting from 1878 from Marriane North’s book. See how cheetah and lynxes are chained like domestic dogs. Scene is from Alwar or Rajasthan. pic.twitter.com/2131db3wCx— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) September 17, 2022
A Cheetah in #India, which was used for hunting. From the archives of Prince of Wales Tour of India in 1875-76. A species never go extinct instantly. It takes time and special efforts. Efforts in negative sense. pic.twitter.com/9aM6z1t2pH— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) September 17, 2022
Another hunting cheetah in India from Prince of Wales visit in 1921-22. These #cheetah were used to catch antelopes. These pics are testimonials that if we don't pay attention to conservation what remains only is picture. Once found in #India now they are extinct. pic.twitter.com/iCq89yMwym— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) September 17, 2022
He also shared how last lot of three cheetahs was hunted down by King of Koriya (Chhattisgarh) in 1947. The king can be seen standing beside the carcass in the picture shared by Kaswan.
And then the last lot of cheetah. 3 cheetah hunted by King of Koriya (Chhattisgarh) in 1947. By 1952 government of India declared then extinct. The first step of species extinction in local population extinction. Many are facing now in India. Hope we will pay attention to them. pic.twitter.com/DSRxs17uBW— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) September 17, 2022
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