Authorities at the Biju Patnaik International Airport may have airtight security arrangements in place to check passengers, trafficking and possible terror threats, but were caught off guard by a monkey that sneaked in on Friday.
The animal kept security officials on their toes for 12 hours as it jumped from one support beam to another under the roof, causing a commotion. It was finally caught in the evening.
The monkey was first noticed in the departure lounge at around 9 am and was chased. But it climbed up onto roof-top truss and sought refuge there. With the airport’s personnel unable to catch the simian, the forest department were called in.
Forest officials managed to feed bananas laced with sedatives to the monkey, but it remained elusive, and if possible, more energetic for several hours after.
At around 8.30 pm, a team from the Nandankanan Zoological Park finally captured the monkey by tranquilising him with a dart gun. Nandankanan joint director, KL Purohit said the monkey was netted as it fell to the ground unconscious.
The animal was eventually released in a forest area on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
Airport officials maintained that passengers did not face any hassles through the melee.
An inquiry has been started in the airport to ensure there isn’t a repeat of the menace. “We are trying to ascertain what route the monkey took to enter into the airport,” BPIA director Sharad Kumar said.