Yadvendradev Vikramsinh Jhala, a well-known biologist who played a key role in India’s Cheetah Project and has been associated with it for 13 years, has not been included in the new Cheetah Working Group. As per the reports, Jhala had refused to fly the cheetahs from Gwalior to Kuno in a Chinook helicopter because his loud noise could cause problems for the cheetahs.
According to the Indian Express, Vikramsinh Jhala is also the dean of the Wildlife Institute of India. In view of Vikramsinh Jhala’s contribution, questions arise because he did not get a place in the working group.
Recently, eight cheetahs were brought to India from Nambia on Prime Minister Modi’s birthday. Vikramsinh Jhala had prepared the technical basis for the Cheetah project under successive governments since 2009.
He was a member of the Cheetah Task Force created in 2010 under conservationist MK Ranjitsinh and has led the project’s technical team ever since. When the cheetahs were taken to Kuno National Park on September 16, Vikramsinh Jhala was also with him.
Regarding not including Jhala in the task force, Ranjit Singh says that he was not approached by him for the formation of the task force.
The newspaper quoted sources as saying that one of the reasons for not including it could be that Jhala had refused to fly the cheetahs from Gwalior to Kuno in a Chinook helicopter because his loud noise could cause problems for the cheetahs. After this, the cheetahs were taken away in two Mi-17 helicopters.
National Tiger Conservation Authority member and secretary SP Yadav have refused to comment on this. But, says an official close to Yadav, “the new task force has been given the responsibility of monitoring the project. Jhala was unable to supervise his own work.
But, experts disagree for this reason. He says that the responsibility given to the working group is very technical and there is no technical member in it. The task of the task force is to monitor the cheetahs and not the task force itself.
However, Vikramsinh Jhala has refused to say anything about the whole affair.
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