Four cheetahs arrive at Mysore Zoo from Germany

One of the four cheetahs that arrived at the Mysore Zoo on Saturday looks out of its cage. DH Photo/Prashanth H G

The animals were transported in a Singapore Airlines aircraft from Johannesburg to Singapore and from there to Chennai. They were brought to Mysore by road, the zoo authorities said. K B Markandaiah, executive director, and Vijaykumar, deputy director of the Mysore Zoo, received the cheetahs, all aged over four years.

They will be kept in separate enclosures for one or two weeks before being displayed to the public, he said.

Markandaiah said the Mysore Zoo was housing the cheetahs after a gap of 28 years. In 1982, the Metro Toronto Zoo, Canada, had lent a pair of hunting cheetahs to the zoo.

He said the zoo would be able to take good care of the new cheetahs with the available infrastructure and expertise. An exclusive quarantine area has been created to initially acclimatise the animals to the local environment and help reduce stress and disturbance.

Experienced keepers will monitor them round the clock, and after studying their needs, they would be housed permanently in a spacious new enclosure which would be built in the existing zebra enclosure, Markandaiah said.

He said cheetahs, the fastest land animals, were once abundant in India but became extinct in the early 20th century due to excess human pressure. Mysore Zoo plans to create a world-class facility for these rare and endangered guests. The exhibit would feature large wilderness-like open spaces and an exclusive sprinting area for routine exercising.

The exhibit would also aim at educating people about the importance of these animals in the ecosystem.

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