Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sneaky simians scare passengers at RGIA

HYDERABAD: Two monkeys had a field day at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad on Saturday after they clandestinely made their way into the airport premises and merrily made a 'trip' from the domestic to the international terminal spreading panic among passengers.

According to eyewitnesses, one among them was first spotted sitting cozily outside an optical store located in the retail zone of the domestic terminal at around 12.30 pm gazing gleefully at passersby. "But as soon as people raised an alarm, the animal perhaps got scared and fled," said an eyewitness. The monkey was later seen in the international enclosure where it hid in the duct of an air-conditioner to avoid public glare.

Its partner in crime, meanwhile, managed to escape prying eyes and find itself a cozy spot in the baggage make-up area where luggage is collected before loading it onto the aircraft. The area was hurriedly cordoned off so as to secure the passengers from the simian and prevent more chaos. It stayed put there till late in the evening.

Neither, of course, caused any harm to any passenger or airport staffer.

"We have no idea how these monkeys managed to sneak into the airport. But as soon as we heard about the incident, we informed the authorities concerned. The zoo officials dispatched a team in the evening to catch the monkeys," said an official from GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHAIL).

While investigation is on to ascertain from where and how these animals managed to gain entry into the highly-guarded airport, chief veterinary officer of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), P Venkateshwara Reddy, who also received a distress call from the airport, said: "Someone called us on Friday night too saying there were some monkeys in the cargo area. Perhaps these two had sneaked into the domestic terminal the same night." He added: "Given the high frequency of calls, I feel monkeys regularly stray into the cargo area of the airport."

While Reddy, soon after the call, tried to get in touch with Qutubuddin, an expert monkey-catcher, the latter was not available. As a result, airport authorities had to contact zoo officials for immediate intervention. Till late in the night, the monkeys were still enjoying their day out at RGIA. Gandhi International airport,GHAIL



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