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JFK turtles bring runway traffic to a crawl -- and start tweeting

June 29, 2011|By Chris Erskine | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  • These turtles were captured at New York's JFK airport after making a break for the runway.
These turtles were captured at New York's JFK airport after making… (Port Authority of New York…)

Maybe the most amazing part of a JFK airport story involving turtles on the runway is that the reptiles now have their own Twitter feed, @jfkturtles, with more than 2,800 followers and many witty tweets.

To catch up the slowpokes here: About 150 turtles crawled onto the runway at New York City's JFK airport Wednesday morning, delaying flights as crews cleared them from the tarmac. The incident occurred about 6:45 a.m. New York time, an FAA spokesman told Associated Press.

This has happened before at JFK. In July 2009, a runway was shut down when about 80 turtles crawled from the bay to the tarmac, a seasonal event linked to their  spawning cycle.

In both cases, the turtles evaded Transportation Security Administration checkpoints.  In two tweets Wednesday, the reptiles explained:

"We go straight to the runway because it takes 5 hours to get out of our shells for the TSA" ...."And the shell pat down option is too awkward."

 AOL has a few more details, at this link.

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