In yet another instance of slithering surprises turning up at most unlikely places, officials at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) were shocked to find a five feet long Cobra near a hangar on Wednesday night.
The incident occurred at 11.40 pm near Air India hangar number 4, opposite the domestic parking stand number 2-3. “Airport officials were shocked to find a huge cobra near the hangar and informed the terminal manager of the domestic departure terminal immediately,” an airport source said.
The five-feet long cobra, with a bite that can prove fatal, was caught and rescued by NGO Wildlife SOS and freed at the Asola wildlife sanctuary. Sources said officials of the airport’s own wildlife department were nowhere to be found when the snake was discovered.
Spokesman of airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) promised to get back with an official response but did not answer the telephone when Hindustan Times tried to contact him repeatedly sometime later.
Snakes are not the only wild animals found at the IGIA – you can also find jackals, neelgais, Monitor Lizards, peacocks, porcupines, monkeys, foxes, dogs and birds of prey. Despite measures taken by DIAL, bird and animal activity keep disturbing flight operations regularly.
“Problems have increased in the monsoon season as insects, snakes, monitor lizards and other animals come out of their boroughs during rain. The insects and reptiles also attract birds, which has been resulting in increasing number of bird hits,” said the source.
On June 16, many flights were affected at IGIA throughout the day after Monitor lizards came out on the runway. “IGIA is spread over 5,100 acres and this huge area makes for a good habitat for such animals. DIAL has only been somewhat successful in relocating the Neelgai population but other animals, especially dogs and jackals, are still rampant,” he said.