|India to Reintroduce Cheetah:
Returning the cheetah to India would make it the only country to have 6 of the world's 8 large cats. It would also be the only country to have all the large cats of Asia. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has approved a "plan to plan" for the reintroduction cheetahs. The original concept was approved by the WTI or Wildlife Trust of India in September of 2009. Experts, such as Dr. Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund and Dr. Urs Breitenmoser, Chairman of the Cat Specialist Group of the IUCN, think the African cheetah should be introduced rather than the Asiatic (Iranian) cheetah since the population of Iranian cheetahs is too low to spare any members. There are estimated to be about 100 Iranian cheetahs. Dr. Stephen J. O'Brien, Chief of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institute in the United States, says there is no significant genetic difference between African and Asiatic Cheetahs.
The cheetah is thought to be the only large mammal to have gone extinct from India in modern times.
Wildlife Trust of India
Scientific American Article
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