There ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no runway long enough, to keep diamondback terrapins from their mating ritual, babe.
According to Gothamist, numerous travelers flying out of New York City’s JFK airport on Friday were delayed taking off due to dozens of turtles crossing the airfield.
The slow-moving culprits were diamondback terrapins, a turtle species that spends most of its time in neighboring Jamaica Bay, Queens — that is, until mating season comes around.
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Every year the half-shells make their tarmac migration to reach the sand that borders the international airport, and lay their eggs.
“There were planes briefly stuck in queue,” Port Authority spokeswoman Cheryl Albiez told the New York Daily News. “It is turtle season here, but it was a little unusual to get the turtles at this time.”
Passengers of the affected planes took the resulting delays in stride, tweeting out their approval for the adorable hold-up.
The 40 or so turtles who decided to boldly cross the airfield of one of the world’s busiest airports were eventually carefully collected by Port Authority wildlife specialists and released in a safer area, reports NBC New York.