Which won the race? The Tortoise or the Plane?

jfk runway turtle crossing airport
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Tortoise vs. Plane

Having built John F. Kennedy International Airport in the middle of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, it was inevitable.

jfk airport turtles

With hundreds of operations a day (sixth busiest airport in the United States) and a home for diamondback terrapins, horseshoe crabs, fish, snails, worms, clams, ospreys, gray squirrels and raccoons, a contest between nature and aviation had to happen.

Comes now the annual trek of the tortoises from the “refuge” to some enticing turf on the airport. Their migration was interdicted by wildlife specialists who collected the terrapins who wandered too close to the runway. They were then released in safer areas. The location was not disclosed under turtle privacy laws.

turtles jfk airport

During the rescue effort, according to the PANYNJ spokesperson, some planes “were briefly stuck in queue.”

Turtles 1  — Planes 0

If the same event occurred in Chicago, would be Planes 1 — ‘Hare 0?


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