JFK Turtles: Flights Delayed At JFK Airport Due To Turtles On The Runway

By on Jun 30, 2011 in Animals, Lifestyle, Science, Travel, United States, Weird, World Comments

Flight delays at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK Airport) on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 were being blamed on turtles on the runway, several news sites reported on that day.

JFK Turtles
The “JFK Turtles”
Image Credit: Port Authority

According to reports, the Port Authority (PA) said that about 150 diamond back terrapins were on the Runway 4L at around 9:30am EDT. The runway was shut down to move the turtles to safer ground, Federal Aviation Administration said.

One of the affected airlines is the Jetblue Airways, which reported the incident on Twitter saying: “JFK is experiencing delays as the airport clears turtles off the runway.” On another tweet, it said, “Running over turtles is not healthy for them nor is it good for our tires.”

Reports said that the incident is actually an annual event at the airport. The turtles were said to be at the middle of their spawning season on which they crawl out of the Jamaica Bay onto the runway looking for higher ground to lay their eggs.

“The sandy spot on the other side of Runway 4L is ideal for egg laying. It is a naturally provided turtle maternity ward. When your airport is virtually surrounded by water, your neighbors sometimes come in the hard shell variety,” PA spokesman John Kelly was quoted as saying.



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