BHUBANESWAR: The security arrangements at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), which is under increased security cover over terror threat, were bared to reveal yawning loopholes as a monkey had a field day in the terminal for more than eight hours before it was captured on Friday.
A private airline employee first spotted the monkey in the departure lounge of the airport building and alerted CISF personnel at around 9 am. As the simian ran on the floor, jumped to the platforms attached to the ceiling and halted at frequent intervals, the CISF personnel made their best efforts to capture it but failed miserably.
On being informed, the honorary wildlife warden of Khurda, Suvendu Mallick came with his team to capture the animal. They offered bananas laced with sedatives to it. After consuming the fruits, it became all the more active and started running helter skelter.
A four-member team comprising foresters and forest guards from Bhubaneswar range also arrived at the spot but could do little as the animal took shelter in an extended platform on the ceiling which was inaccessible.
Finally, a team of vets and forest officials led by Joint Director of Nandan Kanan Zoo KL Purohit took up the mission. They arrived at the airport at 5.30 pm and after a three-hour ordeal, the monkey was captured.
According to sources, the team tried its best to rescue the animal while it was in its senses but failed. Finally, while the monkey was sitting on a shelf near the ceiling, it was tranquilised with a dart gun. “Our team was prepared with a net and waited on the floor till the monkey became unconscious and fell on it,” said Forester Rajat Mohapatra. The sources said the monkey was a domesticated one.
While BPIA authorities had no clue about the route taken by the monkey to enter the building, BPIA Director Sharad Kumar said, “A team of AAI personnel along with Forest officials has been engaged to figure out how the monkey entered the airport.”