PUNE, India — “India has thriving wildlife and biodiversity — 70 percent of global tiger population, 70 percent of Asiatic lions, 60 percent of leopard population. The @narendramodi government is working on the reintroduction of the Cheetah, which went extinct in 1952. This Big Cat will be a reality soon,” Indian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, tweeted recently with the hashtag #WorldWildlifeDay. The last [three] recorded Asiatic Cheetahs [in India] were shot by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Koriya [a princely state of British Empire in India in the state of Chhattisgarh] in 1947, according to a tweet by Indian Forest Service officer Parveen Kaswan. Some reports also state a female cheetah was spotted in 1951 and after a year India declared the animal extinct. Regarded as the fastest animal on land, cheetahs are divided into four subspecies — the Southeast African cheetah, the Northeast African cheetah, the Northwest African cheetah, and the Asiatic cheetah. The Asiatic cheetah , tan-colored and specked with characteristic black spots weighing up to 143 pounds, is one of the world’s most critically endangered big cats. The word cheetah is derived from the term ‘citraka’ which, in Sanskrit, means […]

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