ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — Dozens of flights were delayed at Orlando International Airport on Wednesday after an armadillo was found dead on the runway.
A Southwest Airlines crew spotted the animal at around 7 a.m. The incident was originally believed to be a bird strike until officials got a closer look.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed an armadillo was struck on the tarmac. The airport’s Airfield Ops Wildlife Division was called in to clean up the scene, according to the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
“Following protocol, this meant the temporary closure of the runway,” an airport spokesperson told WFTV. “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.”
43 departing flights were delayed for up to an hour, according to WESH.