Oddly Enough

Lizards and kites hold up flights in New Delhi

A chameleon is silhouetted against the setting sun in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad May 26, 2007. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Around 100 flights were delayed in India’s capital city after monitor lizards, jackals and birds strayed onto the runway, a day after the monsoon hit, The Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.

A family of monitor lizards were first noticed by a pilot on the secondary runway on Monday morning, forcing authorities to delay flight operations for about an hour.

More delays were caused when jackals and kites were also seen ambling across the runway, the newspaper reported.

Animal welfare groups later rescued the lizards and chased away the jackals, but the hold-up already had a knock-on effect and delayed evening flights as well, officials said.

“There are not many remaining at the airport and we also lay traps for them,” a wildlife official was quoted on the presence of lizards by the newspaper.

In the past, monkeys, jackals and peacocks have disrupted flights in the capital, mostly during the monsoon season.

Reporting by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Simon Denyer