NARITA, Chiba Pref. – Three out of some 500 calves imported on a cargo flight from New Zealand escaped from a cage shortly after arriving at Narita airport Tuesday, airport officials said.
One of the three calves ran around in the airport’s cargo area for some 20 minutes before being seized some 300 meters away. The remaining two calves were caught shortly afterward. The site is about 600 meters from the airport’s 4,000-meter main runway.
Flight services were not affected by the fuss, said the officials at Narita International Airport Corp., the airport operator.
Workers mistakenly opened the cage while transferring the calves onto trucks at the airport’s cargo apron. The calves, each weighing around 180 kg, arrived at Narita airport on board a jumbo jet at around 9:30 a.m. The calves are beef cattle to be fattened in Japan.
Animal quarantine officials said the import of such a large volume of live cattle by air is unusual.