Loose turtle on Tokyo airport runway prevents flights from taking off

A loose turtle on the runway of Tokyo International Airport prevented aircrafts from taking off for a short time.

Staff at Narita Airport said that a pilot spotted the turtle on a runway at around 11:30am on Friday. One of the air hub’s two runways was shut down for about 10 minutes.

Five departing flights were delayed for up to 15 minutes. One of them was an All Nippon Airways double-decker aircraft headed for the southern city of Naha in Okinawa Prefecture. It has a Hawaiian-style green sea turtle design on the fuselage.

The turtle on the runway was captured by airport staff. It was dark green, about 30 centimeters long and with a weight of about 2 kilograms.

It may have come from a nearby reservoir. Narita International Airport Corporation says it will find out what type of turtle it is to determine whether it can be placed in a natural habitat.

A cabin attendant who was onboard on of the delayed flights said passengers expressed surprise and were in a good mood despite the delay, NHK reported.