updated 12/23/2009 4:22:41 PM ET 2009-12-23T21:22:41

Passengers on a Continental Airlines flight couldn't believe it when they saw an otter scurry from the plane's cargo hold and onto the tarmac at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The daring escape by a pair of otters delayed the Ohio-bound flight for about an hour Tuesday night.

One passenger said that most on board thought the delay was a joke at first. But another said they watched one of the otters scurry across the tarmac.

Airport workers managed to catch the otters and return them to their cages and the flight took off for Columbus.

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