Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flight Delays as JFK Airport Runway Taken Over by Turtles!By Simone Weichselbaum - NY Daily News

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78 diamondback terrapins, like the one above, delayed flights for over an hour at JFK Wednesday. Drake/Saving Florida

Dozens of randy turtles crawled onto a JFK airport runway Wednesday, delaying flights for over an hour, authorities said.

Port Authority workers rushed to the shell-covered runway about 8:30 a.m. and scooped up 78 diamondback terrapins that had left the waters of Jamaica Bay scouting a spot to breed, said Port Authority spokesman John Kelly.

Pilots from various airlines shared the news with stuck passengers who had to wait up to 90 minutes for their flights to take off so the turtles could land in a safe place.

"Everybody had a good attitude considering it was turtles going off to hatch more turtles," Kelly said.

The animals were piled onto the back of a Port Authority pickup truck and were moved "back into Jamaica Bay," Kelly said.