Everyone knows that, like elves and dwarfs, reptiles and birds do not make easy allies. The former, in all its varieties, has to live in constant fear of attack by the latter, and no species is more at risk than the slow-moving turtle, which despite its hard shell is easily scooped up and dropped from a high height. But in instances of extreme, imminent peril, when war appears to be declared on the animal world at large, you will see the two forces join together in battle. (We hope someone will make a movie trilogy about this someday.) One such spectacular occurrence took place today.
For 35 minutes air traffic was shut down at JFK Airport as dozens of brave diamondback terrapin turtles slowly marched onto a runway. They were obviously marshaling a Hail Mary attack on humanity for the brutal assassination of 2,000 potentially innocent Canada geese — whom Mayor Bloomberg had gassed in retaliation for the goose attack on US Airways Flight 1549 at JFK in January. The birds had already attempted a counterattack, but it failed, and the animal forces clearly felt they needed a more brazen approach. Humans cleared the turtles from the runway without harming them, but we haven’t forgotten that at this very moment we are being encircled by a deadly ring of dolphins and whales.
WHY AREN’T YOU PEOPLE LISTENING TO US?! This can only end in our collective doom. The war against humanity has spread beyond birds and nonthreatening local fauna. If reptiles and sea-dwelling mammals have allied with our avian enemies, we risk awakening the wrath of our most terrifying animal enemy: the shark. They don’t sleep, everyone. Sharks are always awake.
Turtle Brigade Delays Flights at J.F.K. [City Room/NYT]