Sustained efforts by the airport and forest department personnel have helped curb the jackal menace at Indore airport, although authorities don't rule out the presence of more stray animals on the 940-acre premises.
In October last year, a jackal had come between the tyres of a Spice Jet aircraft while it was taxiing to the runway. The flight was delayed while a thorough inspection was carried out.
Taking serious note of the incident, Indore airport authorities had held a meeting with the forest department personnel and made an elaborate plan to trap the jackals.
Several cages were installed and food was kept as a bait to lure the sly animals.
"While we have captured four jackals and two wild cats so far, some more stray animals could be present on the premises. However, we have taken several steps, including trimming the grass and reinforcing the boundary wall," an airport official told HT on condition of anonymity.
Initially, the jackals were caught with the help of the forest department personnel, but now, only the airport personnel are involved. While the grass near the runway has been trimmed, the problem is that completely trimming the grass on the premises will lead to bird menace as they are attracted to insects and worms moving on the ground.
In the past, the Indore airport has battled bird menace as the garbage lying in open areas in nearby villages attracted the birds. "As for jackals, the problem is the topography over which the boundary wall has been built. There are depressions in the land at several spots and jackals have managed to enter the premises by digging under the boundary wall," a forest department official said.
The airport personnel now conduct regular inspections of the perimeter wall to ensure that there are no breaches. Forest department officials say airports are generally located on the outskirts of the city and are surrounded by villages and areas without much habitation, making it easier for wild animals to stray in.
In the areas around Indore airport, jackals, wild cats, stray dogs and a few other wild animals are found.