Turtles Delay Flights at JFK

by  Molly Fergus | Jun 29, 2011
Plane / Biletskiy_Evgeniy/iStock

This is some serious turtle power: A posse of diamondback terrapins marching across a JFK runway this morning delayed some JetBlue flights, according to the airline’s Twitter feed, and this isn’t the first time the slow-moving critters have interrupted New York City air traffic.

The reptilian culprits, which hail from nearby Jamaica Bay, also caused a ruckus at JFK in July 2009, when 78 of them sauntered across a runway in search of mating spots, according to the New York Times.

The invasion shut down one runway for about 30 minutes that morning and contributed to flight delays as long as an hour and a half. Eventually, Port Authority collected the half-shells and drove them back to Jamaica Bay, where they has more space to hatch the next generation of intrepid turtles.

Perhaps this is just another example of Mother Nature enacting revenge on air travelers: Geese have become a common hazard in the skies, so much so that New York City officials opted to rid Brooklyn’s Prospect Park of all the birds last year; and in October 2010, rabbits were blamed for chewing through soy-based car wiring in long-term parking lots at Denver’s airport.

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