Jackal, which had been moving in the runway of Biju Patnaik International Airport, was trapped in a cage here on Monday night near the Air Traffic Control tower at the international terminal building. The animal was later handed over to the authorities of Chandaka wildlife sanctuary, who released it into the wild. "Since there is presence of jackal, fox and hyena in the Chandaka range, we released the captured animal there," said divisional forest officer (Chandaka) Manoj Mohapatra.
Sources said movement of animals in operational areas of the airport poses threat to the aircraft both during landing and takeoff. In association with forest department, the airport authorities have been taking several steps such as pruning the bushes to contain the animal menace. "We laid six traps (cages) in different areas. The jackal was caught in one of the cages," said airport director R Mahalingam.
Presence of wild animals in the airport was first reported in 2012 by the airport officials. This is the sixth animal being trapped in cage since then. Ten days ago, a monkey had strayed into domestic terminal building of the airport. Nandankanan zoo experts took six hours to capture it.
In November 2012, a wild cat was found trapped in the cage put up by the airport authorities. In September, 2013, a wild jackal was found in the operational areas.
In June and July, 2014 two jackals were found trapped in the cage. The airport authorities had admitted in 2014 that roughly there is movement of about 20 jackals and wild cats in the airport's operational area.