This comes after eight of the big cats were sent from neighboring Namibia in 2022. The first batch of 12 cheetahs is to be flown over in February, according to a statement from South Africa’s environmental department, which added the plan was to relocate “a further 12 annually for the next eight to 10 years.” Cheetahs were declared extinct in India in 1952 and are the only large carnivore in the country to have suffered that fate. According to a statement from India’s environment ministry, this was a result of overhunting and loss of habitat. Today, cheetahs are found in southern and eastern Africa, particularly in Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, and Tanzania, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). But the spotted felines used to have a much larger range. Historically, cheetahs roamed throughout the Middle East and central India as well as most of sub-Saharan Africa. Habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans have greatly reduced their populations.