Blog Your Blessings: Turtles with a Walk-on Role

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I was thrilled to pieces this week when I heard about the 78 turtles who stopped air traffic for 1.5 hours at John F. Kennedy airport on Wednesday. Until Wednesday, I would have thought you'd have to be a big noise to have that effect.

But then, maybe 78 2- to 3-pound diamond back terrapins on a mission to keep diamondback terrapins on this earth are a big noise. Here's the Daily News's version of the story:

Dozens of randy turtles crawled onto a JFK airport runway Wednesday, delaying flights for over an hour, authorities said.

Port Authority workers rushed to the shell-covered runway about 8:30 a.m. and scooped up 78 diamondback terrapins that had left the waters of Jamaica Bay scouting a spot to breed, said Port Authority spokesman John Kelly.

Pilots from various airlines shared the news with stuck passengers who had to wait up to 90 minutes for their flights to take off so the turtles could land in a safe place.

"Everybody had a good attitude considering it was turtles going off to hatch more turtles," Kelly said.

The animals were piled onto the back of a Port Authority pickup truck and were moved "back into Jamaica Bay," Kelly said.

Jets hit turtles a few times each year at JFK, usually in the final days of June or earliest days in July, according to the FAA's wildlife strike database. There have been no recent reports of the strikes causing any damage to an airplane.

The website NYC Aviation pointed out:

JFK Airport is almost entirely surrounded by bays, creeks, swamps and undeveloped land, on which all sorts of wildlife live happily despite the rumbling of aircraft at all hours. It is not unusual to see bird watchers standing beside plane spotters in areas such as Broad Channel Island. Other residents include rabbits, snakes, Canada geese, feral cats, and the occasional runaway show dog.

So that's it. We live in a world that actually stepped into turtle time--and survived. I'm happy for the little dudes. Maybe someday they (the airport guys and the turtles) will take their rightful place in the museum.

Comments

  1. Well that sort of takes your "helping the turtle cross the road" to a whole new level doesn't it? You must have just about split a seam when you read this! Very cool story. For just a moment I can almost believe that we can peacefully co-exist with the other creatures on this planet in spite of ourselves.

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  2. how cool is that, turtles slowing down jets. slow stopping the fastest. amazing-fun article and post.

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  3. I love Central Park, I know you and the others reall enjoyed it.
    Are these towers the Plaza Hotel? I can't remember right now.

    A little yard work to finish before it gets too hot but your poem, such as it is, is ready to send. I have a picture, and older one, to scan then I will send.

    I'll e-mail. Very likely it will be afternoon. Your time for sure.
    ..

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  4. Well that's a very nice story. I also heard a strange story this week about a dead drunk badger holding up the traffic in Germany. He/she had eaten fermented fruit in the forest. The police lead him/her to a field where it could sleep peacefully.

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  5. It's comforting to know that the wild creatures are being helped this way.
    Glad the aircraft were held up while they were rescued.

    Over here there are roads that have little tunnels in them so that frogs can go back to their place of birth & spawn in the water. They also send out people by night with lamps to gather them up in buckets & take them across.. (Not around here but somewhere in England, not sure where, but I have read this several times.)

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  6. The Tortoise and The Air(plane).. who'd a thunk it? :)

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  7. Great story. Turtle Time; I think that should be a new saying for yielding to what's really important.

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  8. Who woulda thought? Not so sure the pilots enjoyed being delayed but it is a lesson to all that all God's creatures are important. What "power" they had! lol I hope those on the planes were delayed so much that they issed something important. Maybe it gave them tiem to think.

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  9. What a great story, I'm glad it all worked out for the turtles. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. As the two sea turtles tatooed on my shoulder can attest: they are my Aumakua, guardian/friends.

    Hawaii's sea turtles salute our Jamaica Bay pals!!And YOU for this post honoring our phylum....

    Sandy, you are a joy!
    Aloha
    Comfort Spiral

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  11. Interesting piece of news. That's a great story. :)

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  12. Turtles are such amazing creatures, it's important for the modern world to make space for them.

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  13. Anonymous7:24 PM

    that was amazing news..just too sweet...

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  14. Power to the turtles! It is great to hear about a story like this! Kind of restores faith in humanity.

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  15. Amazing creatures!

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  16. Sort of like Make Way for Ducklings? At least JFK didn't have a Turtle Strike. That would have been sad!

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  17. That's a curious and interesting piece of news. How funny the contrast between the fast planes and the slow turtles!!

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  18. Thank you Sandy, that kind of nice news unfortunately seldom reaches Australia...Isn't blogging great for getting a warm and fuzzy feeling and the broadest of smiles through the ether?

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  19. Now if I could save the ducks!

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  20. slowing down life if just for a while

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  21. what a great photo and story (keep on swimming.. just keep swimming) That fort below looks sturdy enough!

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  22. I loved hearing this too, except I wonder about the helpers taking them back to the bay they'd left...let's hope the turtles find places there, and don't press their luck trying to leave again!

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  23. It would be amazing to see that many turtles crossing the runway at one time. I got to see three turtles cross a road this weekend. They were going back and forth from one pond to another. It is amazing how fast they can move when there are no obstacles.

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  24. BTW, tomorrow I'm hosting my weekly Silly Sunday Sweepstakes, and some real prizes are involved this time. Please tune in!

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  25. Lovely story Sandy. Made me smile :)

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  26. I really enjoyed the story about the turtles but I hope they found a good place to breed. We need more turtles.

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  27. amazing! I am so pleased when I hear such stories!

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  28. Good thing they did not have to deal with the dreaded rogue snapping turtle. Those guys can take a tire off a plane! :-)

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  29. It is hard to believe that in this fast-paced world that the airport staff actually took the time to befriend these little fellows.

    Glad they did.

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  30. Oh, I'm so happy you shared this story as I had missed reading it...and it's fantastic!!!

    I'm finally posting once again on BYB, and so I'm making the rounds again. Good to read your posts and see your fabulous photos once again.

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  31. I wonder if that's the oddest delay planes have ever had. I'm glad they waited though! Randy turtles indeed!

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