KATHMANDU: Nepal's only international airport was briefly closed today after a leopard was seen moving on the runway, disrupting flight operations.
The pilot of Buddha Air had informed Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu of the movement of the leopard on the runway at around 7:45 am, said TIA spokesperson Prem Nath Thakur.
The leopard disappeared into the storm drains along the runway along the runway. A search is on to locate the animal.
Security agencies including police, hunters and forest officials have been deployed on the spot.
"The pilot of Buddha Air informed us that he saw a leopard-like animal on the airport ground. We have called Forest Office officials," Thakur said.
The closure, which lasted for about half an hour, led to disruption of flight operations.
The international airport in Nepal's capital Kathmandu has some forested area on the northern edge.