Flights get delayed for a lot of reasons these days, most commonly weather, maintenance or crew shortage, but Orlando International Airport had a very different reason for 43 delays Wednesday morning: Roadkill.
A Southwest Airlines pilot landing at around 7 a.m. spotted a dead armadillo on the runway, apparently struck by the wheels of a previous flight. Armadillos are insect-eating relatives of anteaters; they are grow to about 18" long and can weigh as much as 17 pounds.
The airport's Airfield Ops Wildlife Division (bet you never heard of that before!) was called to handle the removal of the remains. An official statement reported that “Following protocol, this meant the temporary closure of the runway. This closure occurred during one of the busiest times of the day at MCO, and its impact was further felt because of routine maintenance and construction on two other runways at the same time, resulting in only one operational runway for approximately 20 minutes.”
Image: Not-dead armadillo