India Deploys Guard Dogs To Protect Newly-Introduced Cheetahs From Poachers

India Deploys Guard Dogs To Protect Newly-Introduced Cheetahs From Poachers

In a historic move, authorities in India have deployed a pack of dogs in a national park to protect newly-introduced cheetahs from poachers.

According to USA Today, cheetahs used to be widespread in India, but they became extinct in the 1950s due to poaching.

Cheetahs were the first and only predator to become extinct in the country since India’s independence in 1947.

While it’s been some 70 years since cheetahs roamed freely in India, authorities have imported African cheetahs in hopes of restoring their populations. Bringing cheetahs back to India will not only help with biodiversity but it’ll help conserve the country’s threatened and neglected grasslands.

According to a press release, the Cheetah Conservation Fund worked alongside the Namibian government to send eight cheetahs to India for introduction on 17 September.

Dr. Jhala Yadvendradev, Dean of the Wildlife Institute of India and Principal Scientist for Project Cheetah, said in the press release:

“The goal of our project is to reverse the tide for cheetahs, to slow, then stop their decline, while at the same time increasing the biodiversity and health of Indian ecosystems. Bringing back a top predator restores historic evolutionary balance, resulting in cascading effects, leading to better management and restoration of wildlife habitat, for the benefit of all species, and will uplift the livelihoods of poor forest dwelling communities.”

To help protect the cheetahs, the government has enlisted the help of dogs.

According to Asian News International, the German Sheperhds are undergoing a 7-month training program at the Tibetan Border Police Force’s National Training Center for Dogs.

The news outlet even shared a video of the dogs being trained. It looks like they’re off to a great start!

Once trained, the dogs will be on duty patroling the grounds of the 80,000 acre Kuno National Park, looking for signs of poachers.

This article by Malorie Thompson was first published by The Animal Rescue Site. Lead Image: PHOTO: PEXELS/ANTONY TRIVET.

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