Orlando International Airport's wildlife team rescues stray kitten, names it 'Wingnut'


  • Photo via OLA/Twitter
On Monday, as last-minute Turkey Day travelers dragged their feet en route to catch their final flight, the Orlando International Airport tweeted that a tiny kitten had somehow led itself astray on airport property. Luckily, MCO's wildlife team was quick to respond, and within hours, the wee furry one had a new home with one of the airport's staff members.

Meet the wishful flying feline:

Naturally, the Twitter community had a few suggestions:

But, context clues aside, what exactly is an airport wildlife team? In a place like Florida, where every other creature seems to be deadly, dangerous or a threat the minimum super-creepy, what other sorts of animal-related incidents would we expect an airport wildlife team to have witnessed over the years?

Here are a few occupational takeaways, according to MCO's resident biologist, Johnny Metcalf:

What does MCO's wildlife team, one of the oldest and first of its kind, actually consist of?

It's a three-person team, including Metcalf and two trained specialists, that act as "game wardens," as Metcalf put it, at MCO.

What other kinds of animals does the wildlife team encounter on a regular basis?

"About once a year we'll have gators traverse a runway," Metcalf told OW, before listing other creatures like bobcats, hogs, deer and the more than 50 different types of birds that make a habit of showing up at MCO. "It's nothing offbeat for central Florida standards," he says.

What aviation-themed name did the kitten end up with?

They went with "Wingnut," Metcalf says.

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