Animal expert and David Letterman frequent guest Jack Hanna and an 11-month-old flamingo named Marty became trapped when they were trying to go through an airport security turnstile.
Hanna was coming back from a Columbus Zoo fundraiser with a mongoose, a small leopard, and Marty. There were three other people traveling in the group.
They arrived at the Ohio State University Airport after midnight when the terminal was already closed. The group could only exit the tarmac through a 10-foot-tall metal turnstile with horizontal bars.
Hanna said this was quite a challenge because he had to squeeze Marty’s square crate through the round turnstile.
He pushed Marty’s 2-foot-by-3-foot compartment into the turnstile, while straddling the crate.
Hanna said: “I was stuck like a worm. My eyes were as big as grapefruits. I can’t describe the feeling in my stomach. I can’t move up or down. The bars are on your face.”
The animal expert finally was able to get out from his predicament, although the flamingo was still stuck and everyone else was left on the tarmac. Hanna joked that he would need a blowtorch to get the crate out.
He walked to a nearby fire department for help, and it took three firefighters to free Marty’s crate from up and out of the turnstile.
Hanna said the next time he flies through that airport, the biggest animal he’ll bring is a gerbil.
Photo: Animal Adventures