Leopard shuts down Nepal’s only international airport

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Leopard shuts down Nepal’s only international airport

Kathmandu, April 3 (IANS) Nepal’s only international airport was shut down for half an hour on Monday morning after a leopard was spotted on the runway.

Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, was shut down after a pilot noticed a ‘leopard-like’ animal on the runaway at 7.45 a.m.

All domestic and international flights from the Tribhuvan International Airport were cancelled on Monday morning for 30 minutes, an official said.

Police and forest officials launched a hunt for the animal and found it hiding inside a storm drain at the airport after four hours. The officials blocked the storm drain and will continue the search at night.

“It is not known if the trespasser was a leopard or a cat or a wild-cat,” said Prem Nath Thakur, spokesperson for the airport.

“We will resume the hunt later in night after the animal’s eyes start shining in the dark,” he added.

Those who were on duty told us it was a leopard but we are yet to ascertain that, Thakur said.

Though it was the first time that a leopard was spotted on the runway, leopards have been spotted near the airport in the past too.

A few months ago a leopard was captured near the airport in Gothatar village, 5.5 km from the airport.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.