When eight Namibian cheetahs were released by Prime Minister Modi in Kuno National Park on Saturday, Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav joked by posting a video of a cheetah meowing into its coffin. “Everyone was waiting for a roar. But it turned out to be a member of the cat family,” Yadav wrote. BJP Delhi spokesman Ajay Sehrawat mocked Akhilesh for his apparent “ignorance” that cheetahs don’t roar and said the money that went into Akhilesh Yadav’s studies in Australia is a waste. “Ye Australia se padhe hai… sara paisa barbad,” the BJP leader tweeted. Also read:Rahul Gandhi’s ’16 crore jobs’ dig at PM Modi as Cheetahs return to India
Many social media users corrected him that cheetahs don’t roar like lions, tigers or leopards because they have a different bone structure in their larynx. Some Twitter users also pointed out that it’s not his fault that he didn’t know that cheetahs went extinct in 1952. Also read: All 8 cheetahs in good health, kept calm during the flight
Interior view of custom jet used to bring home cheetahs from Namibia | Video
To much fanfare, eight cheetahs—five females and three males—were brought to Gwalior on a special flight from Namibia. At 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, which also marked the Prime Minister’s 72nd birthday, Prime Minister Modi operated a lever to release three of the eight cheetahs. They will now be quarantined for a month and after that they will be transferred to an acclimatization house for up to four months. Only then are they released into the wild. Addressing the nation on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi said people will have to wait before catching a glimpse of these cheetahs as they need time to get used to this new environment. Cheetah Conservation Fund executive director Laurie Marker said the cheetahs did very well in flight and slept. They were a little stressed to see crowds.
However, Saturday’s event became another political flashpoint with Congress claiming that the Cheetah project had been prepared and approved by Manmohan Singh’s government. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asked why 16 crore jobs were not created in eight years now that the eight cheetahs reached India.