When one goes to the Sardar Patel International Airport, it might now be a common sight to see a bear chasing monkeys. Well let us clarify before you panic and call animal control- it is, in fact, an Airport authority employee in a bear costume. This unique idea was taken up by Airport Authorities of India (AAI) claiming that there was a significant monkey menace and that it hindered several operational activities of the airport.
Even though there are 25 employees already in place whose job is to make sure no animal menace hinders operations, this unique idea was given by the Airport Director Manoj Gangal. "We wanted to be proactive and try something new. So let's see how well this helps," Gangal said.
As per the data shared by airport authorities, in April 2019 itself, there were at least two flights and ten more delayed due to 15 monkeys that entered into the operational area of the airport. In April 2017, ATC had to keep two flights grounded while several officials took the task of chasing away the monkeys. There are several other instances where monkeys had wandered into the runways and created havoc because of which flights either had to be cancelled or delayed significantly.
Officials have also shared that since the Ahmedabad airport is on the outskirts of the city and covered with a lot of greenery, several animals wander into the area. This is the primary reason why several employees and ground staff have the dedicated task of chasing away animals. While this is an initial step taken by authorities, one can see in the visuals that it seems to be scaring the primates away Rest, only time will tell how effective this measure proves to be.