We have a contract with the Delhi International Airport to catch and relocate animals that create safety hazards by wandering onto runways (antelope, dogs, porcupines) or climbing into planes (monitor lizards). It’s an innovative project, and a real win for conservation, because the most economical thing for the airport to do would be to simply shoot the animals. Instead, they have hired us to spare them.
We employ members of the Jogi Nath community on our airport team; we are utilizing the knowledge and the skill of a hunter-gatherer community to the benefit of conservation. We’ve been able to actually convert men from these communities, hardcore poachers into animal people! We taught them to handle animals delicately, carefully, and now they have this innate passion which is coming out that is making them absolutely unrivaled at what they do. In addition, we’ve trained them to drive, use wireless radios, keep records, and use mobile phones. They are all illiterate, yet they’ve learned to do all of these things, and have taught us so much in the process.
We hope to someday be able to spread this to other airports across India for not only the animals sake, but the passengers also. Safety for all is the primary concern!