Even as a student, Yadvendradev Jhala dreamed of the day when cheetahs would once again roam India. The big cats formerly shared the landscape with tigers, leopards, lions and wolves, but they disappeared 70 years ago as human development and hunting ramped up.
“This is the only large animal that we have lost in independent India,” says Jhala, dean of the Wildlife Institute of India. “I’ve always been interested in reintroducing cheetahs to India.”
If all goes according to plan, Jhala could soon see that vision become a reality. Eight cheetahs are scheduled to arrive in India from Namibia later this month, in celebration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on