Sunday 20 August 2017

Flights at JFK delayed thanks to turtles on the runway

Bet you’ve never heard that excuse for planes taking off late before…

(McKinneMike/Getty Images)
(McKinneMike/Getty Images)

By Georgia Humphreys

A number of flights at New York’s Kennedy Airport were briefly delayed after turtles migrated across the runway.

It’s nesting season in the nearby marshes where the Diamondback terrapins live, and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said around 40 ended up crawling onto the airfield on Friday.

Authority spokeswoman Cheryl Albiez told the Daily News that some planes “were briefly stuck in queue” while the turtles were being rounded up.

The turtles’ annual migration takes place from June to mid-July.

Port Authority wildlife specialists collect the animals that wander too close to the runway and release them to safer areas.

It certainly seemed to amuse Twitter that flights were delayed by cute little animals instead of equipment malfunctions or something similar.

But apparently, turtles turning up on the runway isn’t actually that uncommon…hence why there are Port Authority wildlife specialists at the ready.

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