Biratnagar, January 9:

With the objective of averting air crashes in the Biratnagar airport, the Biratnagar-based office the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and the Biratnagar sub-metropolis have initiated a campaign to kill jackals, a major cause of crashes, since December 25. Planes belonging to the Buddha Air narrowly escaped accidents on December 20, 23 and 25 when they hit jackals on the runway. Jackals can be seen lying dead every evening on the runway of the airport.

The campaign has been initiated to avert possible accidents, said Yogendra Raut, chief of the Biratnagar-based CAAN.

The CAAN had written to the sub-metropolis to help kill the jackals when the plane belonging to Buddha air hit a jackal on December 25.

From the same day, a team headed by Hira Lal Yadav, chief of the Veterinary Department at the sub-metropolis office, initiated the campaign aimed at killing jackals in the airport.

Following the initiation of the campaign, 31 jackals have already been killed, said Yadav. There could be as many as 400 jackals in the airport, Yadav said, adding: “Two to three jackals eat poison-laced meat scattered along the runway every day and die.”

“It is difficult to kill jackals,” said Yadav.

“As they pose a great risk to planes, we will kill a maximum number of jackals,” said Dinesh Thapaliya, acting chief of the sub-metropolis office.

Sugarcane farming near the airport might have attracted jackals, the CAAN said.