Air New Zealand flight delayed by hedgehog on the runway

An Air New Zealand flight was delayed because of a hedgehog on the runway earlier in the week.

The incident occured at Dunedin Airport on 2pm on Monday 27 February.

Flight NZ675 from Auckland to Dunedin had just landed when the hedgehog was spotted walking across the tarmac.

The small creature was seen by a keen-eyed pilot before the plane’s taxiing process was complete.

An announcement onboard the aircraft alerted passengers to the reason behind the plane’s abrupt stop.

As reported by Stuff, passenger Arthur Taylor shared what happened.

“The captain said, ‘I’m sorry I’m going to have to make an announcement that I’ve never made before, there is a hedgehog on the runaway’,” Mr Taylor explained.

“The plane came to a grinding halt,” Mr Taylor said, adding:”I think they were worried they would suck the bloody thing up in an engine.”

Firefighters were called to the scene and the hedgehog was safely removed from the runway.

The flight then continued its final journey to the terminal, following a few minutes’ wait while the prickly animal was rescued.

A spokesperson for Dunedin Airport said: “We welcome everyone, even hedgehogs.

“We try not to destroy wildlife if we don’t have to.”

They added: “It wandered it off onto the runway as the flight was taxiiing in and fortunately we have our airport emergency services team who were dispatched to remove the prickly offender.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Air New Zealand said the flight had been delayed by five minutes. This wait was “while the aircraft waited for a hedgehog to be removed”.

“The hedgehog made if off the runway safely,” Air New Zealand confirmed.

According to Dunedin Aiport, the hedgehog has happily since been re-homed.

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