Project Cheetah Update – Oban’s Trek
- by Eli Walker April 3, 2023
Yesterday Oban was in very close proximity to the residential area of a village bordering Kuno. Along with the forestry department, we were successful at luring Oban out of this area and managed to take him about 1km away from that village before sunset. Oban, along with all other cheetahs released so far, is being closely monitored 24 hours a day by the forestry department’s and WII’s dedicated teams. I was very pleased to see how well the department staff managed the situation, how respectful the community members present were to Oban and the efforts to get him away from this area. The monitoring team will continue to keep a very close watch over Oban and if he does not return to the forests of Kuno, our last resort can be to recapture Oban with anaesthesia and return him to the core of the park directly.
Post-release, cheetahs are known to show lots of movement in the exploration of their new environment, so this situation is not unexpected. The released animals must learn where suitable habitat is and must learn the areas, like villages, that are less favorable. We hope that with enough time, these animals will establish home ranges within Kuno and rarely venture out into human-dominated landscapes. Until then, India’s dedicated cheetah monitoring teams, which CCF has helped train since last September, will keep close watch over any animals that do venture out.
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