May 22, 2019

Mating turtles shut down JFK runway

Turtle in Love - a diamondback terrapin on the loose and feeling fertile.

More than 150 turtles have crossed over an active runway and disrupted air traffic at New Yorks’ John F Kennedy airport on Wednesday so that they could continue their mating season.

The diamondback terrapins were trying to get to a sandy area to lay their eggs but to get there they had to cross runway 4.

Carol Bannerman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the turtles were primarily female, and the fertilization of their eggs occurs in the water, she said. JFK is surrounded by a bay and wetland areas.

The first turtle was spotted at 6:45 a.m. and a short time afterward, Port Authority staff were dispatched and the U.S. Department of Agriculture assisted, according to Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico.

“This happens every year,” Marsico said. “I guess some years there is more turtle activity.”

People began tweeting about the turtles soon after the news broke. Within 8 hours, @JFKTurtles had almost 3,000 followers on Twitter.

Newswarped loves it that the turtles did what they had to do. Love knows no boundaries even if its path leads you into the path of an incoming airliner. The turtles obviously only had eyes for each other.