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25 Aug, 2021

Two nilgai, a male and a female, have been successfully rescued from Biratnagar airport and subsequently transported and released in Parsa National Park. At the request of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), a team of four from NTNC led by the NTNC-Koshi Tappu Conservation Centre programme officer Mr Birendra Gautam, along with one veterinary and two wildlife technicians were deployed to carry out the operation. They were accompanied by personnel from the Division Forest Office, Morang and the Nepal Army. 

The rescue operation was carried out after civil aviation authorities and the Division Forest Office, Morang had communicated about the airport obstruction situation with DNPWC. The niglai pair was reported to have been at the airport premises habitually with previous capture and management efforts not yielding, thereby increasingly raising concern for potential runway collision risks.

Following two days of monitoring the site, which was longer than anticipated due to the existing airport peripheral structure and overgrown vegetation on the runway sides, the rescue team were able to successfully dart and capture the male nilgai on August 20, with the female being rescued on August 22. Both nilgai were then transported some 300 km from Biratnagar to Parsa National Park, where they have been released in their new natural habitat.