Leopard shuts down Nepal’s only international airport

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 03.04.2017 10:22

Nepal's only international airport was briefly shut down Monday after a leopard was spotted on the runway, officials said.

A spokesman for the airport in Kathmandu said wildlife and security officers were searching for the animal, believed to be hiding in the drains, after it was spotted by a pilot.

"We closed the airport for about 30 minutes after the incident was reported but we haven't found the leopard yet," Prem Nath Thakur said.

Flights resumed after a shutdown that lasted about half an hour. The search for the animal was continuing.

Both international and domestic flights were affected by the brief closure.

The airport is inside the city but has some forested area on the northern edge.

In the past birds have posed serious safety problems at the single-runway airport, although stray cattle and dogs have also been known to disrupt flights.

In 2016, a plane with nine passengers was forced to make an emergency landing when a bird struck its right wing.

Nineteen people were killed in 2012 when an aircraft hit a bird and crashed shortly after taking off from the airport.

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