[Watch] Airport Officials Dress In 'Bear Costume' To Chase Monkeys Away In Ahmedabad
If successful, we will hopefully implement it as a long term plan later, Ahmedabad airport director Manjo Gangal said.
In a bid to put an end to the monkey menace, the officials at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad have come up with a unique initiative where they dress in a bear costume to chase away monkeys that hinder the hassle-free take-off and touchdown of aircraft at the runway.
Every day, airport staff dressed in over-sized 'bear' costume can be seen struggling, hoping to shoo away the monkeys.
This idea is a part of 'meticulous planning' which involved studying the behaviour of langoors, seeking opinions of wildlife experts, identifying what scares the animals and then working on the animal chasing techniques.
Ahmedabad airport director Manoj Gangal claimed that they came up with the idea after they saw how people in Delhi hired langoors to scare off monkeys.
"Like in Delhi, the menace of monkeys was curtailed by hiring langoors. We realised that langoors were scared of bears. We already have a team of 'bird and wildlife' chasers which is a third party agency on contract. So we came up with this unique initiative, where we asked one of the staff of the chasers team to don the outfit of a bear and chase the langoors away," Gangal told The Indian Express.
He further clarified that the staff employed for this purpose is not asked to do it the entire day.
"We studied the psychology and behaviour patterns of the langoors and realised that these wild animals appear at our airport premises during a specific time of the day. So, for that time period, the staff wears the outfit and chases away the wild animals," Gangal added.
Talking about the langoor menace, airport officials said that in last one year, several wild animals have troubled the authorities and the activities at the airport. In April 2019, a group of langoors reached a few runways at the aerodrome causing two flight diversions and delayed 10 additional flights from their scheduled departure.
"Although we have installed barbed fencing and electric fencing and have a dedicated team of chasers who are equipped with acoustic devices to scare away wild animals and birds, we realised that Langoors can achieve great height with their jumps and that is why we decided to go traditional in our approach. This initiative has been carried out on an experimental basis and we have achieved good results in the past week as there has been no flight disruption due to wild animals. Hopefully, later we will implement it as a long term plan," Gangal said.