Turtles briefly slow down flights at NY airport

About 40 turtles crawled onto the airfield Friday afternoon

An adult diamondback terrapin turtle is held by a student at the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science in Manahawkin, N.J. on Tuesday Dec. 16, 2014. Students who study and care for turtles at the school recently got New Jersey legislators to introduce a bill that would make it illegal to catch or take the turtles from the wild. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
An adult diamondback terrapin turtle is held by a student at the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science in Manahawkin, N.J. on Tuesday Dec. 16, 2014. Students who study and care for turtles at the school recently got New Jersey legislators to introduce a bill that would make it illegal to catch or take the turtles from the wild. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

NEW YORK (AP) — Some flights at New York’s Kennedy Airport were briefly delayed, but not by passengers of equipment malfunctions.

It was turtles.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says about 40 diamondback terrapins crawled out of Jamaica Bay and onto the airfield at about 4:45 p.m. Friday.

Authority spokeswoman Cheryl Albiez tells the Daily News that some planes “were briefly stuck in queue” while the turtles were being rounded up.

The turtles’ annual migration takes place from June to mid-July.

Port Authority wildlife specialists collect the animals that wander too close to the runway and release them to safer areas.