Cheetah which once roamed freely across Asia is now only found in less than hundred found now only in Iran’s central desert with few sightings in Baluchistan – Pakistan. The head and body of the adult Asiatic Cheetah measure from 112 to 135 cm with a tail length between 66 and 84 cm. It can weigh from 34 to 54 kg, but the male is slightly larger than the female. Cheetah is the only specie which become extinct in India in last 100 years.
Percept as the trophy hunter for black buck & gazelle hunting. At one time Mughal Emperor Akbar used to had 1000 Indian Cheetahs as pets used mostly for his hunting expeditions, its depiction can be seen in paintings & miniatures of mediaeval era. Hunted for passion & driven near to extinction also because of the habitat loss & conversion of grasslands into farm lands. The survival rate is also low as there the fertility is very low & infant mortality rate is high, captive breeding has never been successful of Cheetahs worldwide & has never been attempted for Asiatic Cheetah. Cheetah’s presence in India known to have from many centuries, its name was derived from Sanskrit word chitraka.
The last three Indian Cheetahs were shot in 1947 in Sarguja Madhya Pradesh – India by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo.
Indian Cheetah used to prey on black bucks, nilgai, hare, spotted dear, sambar.
The Rewilding Program: Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has initiated a program for re introducing Asiatic Cheetah in India under captive breeding program but the vets are concerned & has warned about the gene pool disaster as the pure gene pool is limited & lacks the fertility ration due to the near extinction numbers.