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Sunday, April 9, 2017

the leopard walk !! delays International flight !!

The leopard (Pantherapardus)  is one of the five "big cats" in the genus Panthera. Compared to other members of Felidae, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but has a smaller, lighter physique. Honestly, I do not understand the difference between – Leopard, Cheetah, Jaguar, Panther, Cougar and Tigers !!

A female leopard was caught from a farm near Varelivillage of Mandvi in Surat on Monday. This was the 20th leopard rescued from the area in past 18 months, forest officials said. In past 18 months, 19 male leopards and one female leopard have been rescued from the vicinity of the same village.  It is reported that following complaints by villagers, a cage was placed along with bait in the farm of Yusuf Mahida, three days ago. A female leopard of around two-and-half-years was trapped in the cage and was shifted to a shelter by the forest officials. The leopard will be released at a safer location in deep forest, forest officials said.Meanwhile, the villagers complained of movement of two more leopards in the area and demanded that cages be placed there !

A beginner would enjoy the Crossword puzzle ‘plane crash in Himalayas (5) – ans being Nepal’ .. .. .. away in Nepal, its International airport was originally named Gauchaur Airport, after the area of Kathmandu where it was situated. The formal beginning of aviation in Nepal occurred in 1949, with the landing of a Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft, carrying the Indian ambassador. The first charter flight took place between Gauchaur and Calcutta, in a Himalayan Aviation Dakota on 20 February 1950. In 1955 the airport was inaugurated by King Mahendra and renamed Tribhuvan Airport in memory of the king's father.

The airport was in news for its temporary closure – reports state that Nepal had to close its only international airport for around half an hour on Monday after a leopard was spotted close to the runway.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.One international flight was delayed but no other flight was scheduled during the closure; but the hidden leopard could not be spotted. 

Kathmandu is close to forested hills and leopards are occasionally known to stray into the city.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.

India would remember this place for wrong reasons – recall that IC 814,   Indian Airlines Airbus A300 en route from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal to Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, India on 24.12.1999, was hijackedby Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.  The aircraft was hijacked by gunmen shortly after it entered Indian airspace at about 17:30 IST. Hijackers ordered the aircraft to be flown to several locations. After touching down in Amritsar, Lahore and Dubai, the hijackers finally forced the aircraft to land in Kandahar, Afghanistan, which at the time was controlled by the Taliban. The hijackers released 27 of 176 passengers in Dubai but fatally stabbed one and wounded several others.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

4th Apr 2017.

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