Highlights

  • Cheetahs, extinct in India, expected to arrive in September
  • More than 1,000 dogs given anti-rabid vaccine
  • Move to protect cheetahs

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Explained: why over 1000 dogs got anti-rabies shots before cheetahs arrive in Madhya Pradesh

Forest officials admitted that this was the first time that the park officials went on a massive anti-rabies vaccination drive.

More than 1,000 dogs have been given anti-rabies vaccine doses around Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where cheetahs are being brought from Africa as part of India's ambitious project to reintroduce these fastest land animals.

The move is aimed at protecting the cheetahs from rabies.

Forest officials admitted that this was the first time that the park officials went on a massive anti-rabies vaccination drive. Officials say usually, a leopard kills an animal and after devouring a portion of the carcass it leaves the remaining part only to return to eat the leftovers later after feeling hungry.

In the meantime, if a rabid dog eats that leopard prey's leftover, the big cat is bound to catch rabies and spread it among other wild animals in the forest.

Notably, in September 2013, a rabid dog had bitten the tail of a three-year-old tiger in Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The tiger coded P-212 was later given an anti-rabies injection by the forest department to save the wild animals, especially the big cats.

The last cheetah died in the country in 1947 in the Korea district in present day Chhattisgarh, which was earlier part of Madhya Pradesh, and the species was declared extinct in 1952.

Also watch: Extinct since 1952, Cheetahs to roam in India again: here's how

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