JFK Airport Runway Taken Over By Turtles

Jun 29, 2011, 15:25 by Sarah Long

About 100 wayward turtles took over a runway at New York's Kennedy International Airport for a time Wednesday, an official said.

The diamondback terrapins showed up on Runway 4, forcing airport officials to close it for more than an hour, The New York Times reported. Workers with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey got them rounded up and removed by about 10 a.m. and were to relocate them to a safer area, authority spokesman John P.L. Kelly said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac said some flights were held up but for no more than a half-hour.

The inconvenience wasn't great since the runway wasn't in high demand because of the prevailing wind direction.

Kelly said the turtles make annual treks across the runway as they go about their efforts to reproduce.

"They look for sandy spots to lay their eggs, and there is an ideal location on the other side of Runway 4L," Kelly told the Times. "They come out of the water and cross the runway to lay their eggs in the sand."

Source: UPI