Thursday, June 30, 2011

Turtles On The Runway

I was  cheered today by the news that JFK Airport was closed to flights for about half an hour yesterday because of a turtle invasion to the runway. They could have just run them over, I suppose, like many people do around here, but then when the news got out, some animal rights group would have them in a sling. And I agree in this case.  When something as careful and thoughtful that can live a hundred years or more  needs human consideration, we should give it.

While the subject was on my mind I checked out some turtle videos on YouTube and saw some wonderful examples of turtle determination, fortitude, and just plain ingenuity. Who woulda thought turtles could climb fences? Take a look.

  Tortoises, terrapins and turtles do not only move slowly; they grow slowly and can get exceptionally old. Nobody is sure about the maximum lifespan of some of these species, but even after many decades they show no sign of ageing and die only of illness or injuries. A specimen of Testudo sumeirii that was brought to Mauritius in 1766 died in 1918 of unnatural causes. In 2000 a zoo in Sydney, Australia, celebrated the 150th birthday of a tortoise that was donated to them by Charles Darwin!

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