Wandering turtles shut down JFK runway
First it was the geese, now its the turtles.
Flights were delayed at Kennedy Airport for 90 minutes Wednesday while workers removed 78 diamondback terrapin turtles from a runway.
A spokesman for the Port Authority, which runs the airports, said a pilot called in a sighting of the turtles shortly after 9 a.m.The animals were collected and released back into the water, said the spokesman, John Kelly.
The incident came on the heels of a controversial program to kill dozens of Canada geese near the citys airports to prevent bird strikes to plane engines, such as the one that brought down US Airways flight 1549, which was safely landed in the Hudson River in January.
Though not as big a problem as geese, turtles have ended up on runways before.
It is not totally unprecedented, Kelly said. But its not wildly common.
Kelly disputed a report that a plane ran over the turtles.
It is mating season for turtles and that may have been why they were wandering around.