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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Turtle trouble

Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at 8:48 PM

Wednesday morning, business meetings were delayed. Connecting flights were missed. Romantic getaways were postponed and countless unfortunate customer service folks were groused at countless times as they told the grim news to passengers at a New York airport that they'd simply have to wait. For turtles.

The Associated Press reported that 78 turtles crawled out of the bay and onto the tarmac at John F. Kennedy airport, New York. The AP said the creeping creatures were rounded up -- apparently it wasn't a challenge for the ground crews to catch them -- and returned to the water an unspecified distance from airport property in a process that took about 35 minutes but delayed some flights for more about an hour and a half.

The Diamondback terrapins were about 8 inches long and weighed 2 to 3 pounds apiece.

Think about the drama that unfolded because of these 3-pound wayward amphibians. Imagine the calls to waiting family members and bosses.

"I'll be a little late."

"How long?"

"I don't know. They have to get the turtles out of the way."

"The turtles? Is that some kind of new rock band?"

"No. Turtles. You know, little green things with shells."

"OK. What really happened. Did you miss your flight?"

"No. It's the turtles. Really."

"You expect me to believe John F. Kennedy airport is closed due to turtles?"

"Nope. Not the whole airport. Just this one part."

"Are they at least Ninja turtles?"

"Nope. Just regular, little turtles."

"What are they doing about it?"

"Chasin' 'em."


Evidently, the trouble-making turtles have trespassed on JFK property before; the FAA's wildlife strike database says aircraft hit turtles a few times each summer, the AP said.

Some days are just like that, aren't they?

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Lynn Wade
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