Turtles Invade JFK Airport, Cause Flight Delays

Posted Jun 29th 2011 11:15 AMUpdated Jun 30th 2011 11:39 AM

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Turtles invaded the runway at JFK on Wednesday morning, delaying flights.

JetBlue airlines tweeted at around 9:30am that there were flight delays as the runway was being cleared of turtles, saying: "JFK is experiencing delays as the airport clears turtles off the runway. (Check flight status at jetblue.com.)."

Officials told the New York Post that, indeed, several turtles climbed onto the tarmac, delaying some flights.

Odd as it may seem, this isn't the first time turtles have disrupted flights at JFK. In July 2009, a runway at JFK was shut down after 78 turtles emerged from a bay and crawled onto the tarmac. Ground crews rounded up the turtles and returned them to the water.


An FAA spokesman told the Associated Press at the time, "Apparently, this is something the tower has experienced before. I guess it's the season for spawning."


UPDATE: Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico told MSNBC that 150 turtles came out of the bay to lay their eggs on a sandy beach area across the runway, adding "staff has been out there since quarter to 7 this morning relocating them."

You can now follow the JFK turtles on Twitter @JFKTurtles.
Turtles Snarl Traffic at New York's JFK Airport
Filed Under: News

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Aphidavis

Turtles are so neat, always loved them.

July 08 2011 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
r.neon

What kind of turtles? I'm shure they were Diamond back teripins, but your picture shows Painted turtles. Spawning? NO. These turtles MATE in the water and lay their eggs on land. Your "NEWS" is NO news.

July 03 2011 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Hartil

Makes a change from Jumbos

June 30 2011 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deb Hamilton

The Mile High Club: http://debutopia.blogspot.com/2011/06/mile-high-club.html#more

June 30 2011 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Milosh

I like turtles....

June 30 2011 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
agoldnthl

I'm surprised that they weren't surrounded by SWAT teams and sniffed for explosives! Who knows what they hide under those tough shells! Seriously, I am pleased that they were handled humanely. Thumbs-up to the ground crews!

June 30 2011 at 3:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nessa1545

My boyfriend rescued a turtle from ohare... He was on the tarmac and the little guy almost got ran over... theres no water source over there, we dont know how he got there, but He scooped him up and brought him home where he has a wonderful place to live! Lots of swimming and sunning!!! His name is Joe and we love him!!

June 30 2011 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jay Williams

I'm surprised the turtles are hearty enough to live in that water.

June 29 2011 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eagle80@mail.com

Save the WEEEE Tartles!!!!!!

June 29 2011 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
celtcalgal

Ninja turtles on the loose, cute.

June 29 2011 at 9:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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