Cute tiny turtles are the reason for your flight delays

Cute Tiny Turtles Are the Reason for Your Flight Delays

It's reasonable to get frustrated by a flight delay. You just want to get on your way to your destination, but you're stuck on the plane for hours with zero movement.

Would it make you feel better if your flight was delayed by a turtle?

Nearly 400 diamondback terrapins turned up on JFK International Airport's property this year alone. They mostly appear near the sandy turf, which borders runways. This is prime location for the turtles to lay eggs and build nests.

Port Authority biologists are constantly patrolling the airport and often scoop up the reptile before they reach the runway. The turtles are then tagged, released and tracked.

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BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 15: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created with a smartphone.) People stand at the Southwest Airlines baggage claim at Baltimore-Washington International Airport as flights are delayed due to technical issues at a Federal Aviation Administration center August 15, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The FAA is investigating an automation problem with flight tracking at a center in Virginia that has caused delays in flight arrivals and departures in the Washington and New York City regions. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 15: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created with a smartphone.) Southwest Airlines planes sit at their gates at Baltimore-Washington International Airport as flights are delayed due to technical issues at a Federal Aviation Administration center August 15, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The FAA is investigating an automation problem with flight tracking at a center in Virginia that has caused delays in flight arrivals and departures in the Washington and New York City regions. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LINTHICUM, MD - AUGUST 15: Passengers wait for bags at the Southwest Airlines baggage claim at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport as flights are delayed due to technical issues at a Federal Aviation Administration center August 15, 2015 in Linthicum, Maryland. The FAA is investigating an automation problem with flight tracking at a center in Virginia that has caused delays in flight arrivals and departures in the Washington and New York City regions. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LINTHICUM, MD - AUGUST 15: A Southwest baggage employee talks with passengers awaiting luggage at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport as flights are delayed due to technical issues at a Federal Aviation Administration center August 15, 2015 in Linthicum, Maryland. The FAA is investigating an automation problem with flight tracking at a center in Virginia that has caused delays in flight arrivals and departures in the Washington and New York City regions. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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This influx of turtles has been a yearly ritual during the month-long mating season, which peaks in mid-July.

In 2011, reports showed the turtle numbers were on the decline. They found the terrapin population is very old and isn't being replaced. This is due to raccoons, which kill 95 percent of newborn turtles each year.

Meanwhile, the surviving turtles are left to fend for themselves when it comes to the angry JFK travelers who may have some choice words about being delayed.

Hopefully these turtles have a tough shell.

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