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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