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NAGPUR: In spite of steps initiated by airport authorities, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport here remains quite a menagerie. Planes are prone to hit barking deer, dogs, and pigs on the runway and birds in the sky.
In the last few months, five to six incidents of animals getting hit by aircraft while two instances of bird-hit have occurred at the airport. It is a miracle that none of them has resulted in a major aviation disaster.
Now, the airport authorities and forest department have decided on a final action against wild animals roaming the airport campus. They will capture the barking deer and remove them to deer park. Similarly pigs will be taken away.
There are at least five barking deer (three adults and two fawns) and a few pigs still roaming in airport campus.
These can pose danger to aircraft movement at anytime. For trapping the barking deer, officials have laid traps as suggested by the forest department. Within a day or two, Mahua flowers will be placed as bait near the water pond frequented by the deer. Nets have been erected on sides of the pond, leaving just one side open. "As soon as a deer comes within the net, forest officials atop the specially erected machans' will tranquilize it. It will then be removed to a zoo," a senior airport official added.
Meanwhile, the airport had recently fought a tough battle with strange uninvited guests like monkeys. It is now fighting another battle with pigs. The senior official informed that about 70 monkeys creating nuisance at the airport premises were trapped and relocated to nearby jungles. Now, another trapper has been appointed to trap and relocate the pigs.
The dumping of stale foodstuffs by dhaba owners and hoteliers on Khapri Road and illegal slaughter houses mushrooming in Khamla and Jaitala have added to the headaches of airport officials. These attract birds and stray animals like pigs and dogs, he added. "We have asked Nagpur Municipal Corporation officials to curb illegal slaughter of chicken and goats near airport and check dhaba owners who dump garbage near boundary wall," he added. Airport Director S.N. Borkar said, "action will be initiated soon and airport premises will be cleared of the animal menace."