Friday, March 26, 2021

In 5 months, 198 monkeys caught from Ahmedabad airport

Ahmedabad: A year after an Airports Authority of India (AAI) employee had posed as a bear to scare away monkeys from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad, the management of the city airport is still working on curbing the menace of monkeys infesting the campus of the city airport.

Well-placed sources confirmed that at least 102 monkeys were caught from the airport campus in three months from November 2020 to January 2021 with the help of district forest officials and released in remote areas. Forest department officials also confirmed that some 96 monkeys were relocated in February and March 25.

According to forest department officials, monkeys jump over from the nearby Cantonment area. “Territorial fights keep taking place between the monkeys in the cantonment area due to which a bunch of them jump over the airport compound wall towards the airport runway. Special permission has been obtained based on which we have formed a team to address the monkey menace at the airport,” Sakira Begum, deputy conservator of forests – social forestry, Ahmedabad.

Forest department officials have also pruned at least 200 trees so that monkeys don’t jump over the airport peripheral wall.

An email query sent to city airport authorities about the issue did not elicit a response. A meeting of the Airport Environment Committee is held on a quarterly basis to discuss the issue of animal and bird sightings at the airport in addition to other measures that are required to keep both at bay in the interest of aircraft safety. The last meeting was held in mid-January during which the issue of relocation of monkeys and trimming of trees is being discussed.

26/03/21 Niyati Parikh & Himanshu Kaushik/Times of India

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