The Kuno National Park is located in the Morena and Sheopur districts in Madhya Pradesh. One of the many gems of the state, the Kuno National Park is nestled near the Vindhyan Hills. With an area of 748 sq. km, the park is located within the larger Kuno Wildlife Division. It boasts of rich biodiversity. However, there were no lions, tigers, giraffes or cheetahs. The recent addition of cheetahs has put Kuno National Park on the global map of conservation and rehabilitation.
8 Asiatic cheetahs arrived from Namibia and were released into Kuno National Park on 17th September 2022 by the Prime Minister. The 5 female and 3 male cheetahs named Freddy, Savannah, Alton, Sasha, Cibli, Obaan, Saisa and Asha are aged 30 – 66 months and are reported to be in good health. Soon the cheetah safari will be open for the public to view these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Apart from lush green vegetation and varied wildlife species, Kuno has ancient structures and forts, making it an abode of both the natural and historical.
Home to the Kardhai, Salai and Khair trees, and being known for the high density of avian creatures, the Kuno National Park is every nature and wildlife lover’s delight. Named after the Kuno River that cuts across it, Kuno is primarily a grassland region, though a few rocky outcrops are found here too. The protected area of the forest is home to the jungle cat, Indian leopard, sloth bear, Indian wolf, striped hyena, golden jackal, Bengal fox and dhole, along with more than 120 bird species. Initially established as a wildlife sanctuary, it was only in 2018 that the government changed its status into a national park. The Kuno National Park is closed during the monsoon season from 1st July to 15th October.
Kuno National Park will continue to be under the spotlight, to check on the progress of the cheetahs and hopefully once the cheetahs are out of quarantine, the safaris will also include cheetah spotting. Until then, wildlife enthusiasts can still enjoy the many aspects of nature and history the national park offers.