Turtles Stop Traffic at New York’s JFK Airport, Promptly Get a Twitter Account

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Joel Sartore / National Geographic / Getty Images

150 of these diamondback terrapins stopped planes in their tracks on Wednesday.

Slow and steady wins the race — unless you’re crossing an airport tarmac.

About 150 diamondback terrapins interrupted service Wednesday morning out of John F. Kennedy Airport in New York when they migrated across the runways from Jamaica Bay Park, which is just next door to the airport.

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Flights were delayed for about half an hour. JetBlue decided to use the extra time to tweet what NewsFeed considers to be a great recap of the story: “JFK is experiencing delays as the airport clears turtles off the runway. #cantmakethisup (Check flight status at jetblue.com.).”

But somebody responded in kind by giving the turtles a say, with their very own parody Twitter account. @JFKTurtles has tweeted gems like, “Thanks for all the questions, but we are not the TMNT. Though we were raised by a talking rat. That’s normal, right?”

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This phenomenon is not new to the airport. The turtles were in search of beaches to lay their eggs, which they do every year around this time. Airport staff were out on the tarmac since 6:45 a.m. trying to clear the creatures from the runway, giving them a ride via pickup truck to their beaches.

“We are trying to help wildlife out a bit here,” said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said. “We built on the area where they were nesting for generations, so we feel incumbent to help them along the way.”

NewsFeed suspects the turtles want their land back.

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