Featured Image Credit: Scott Babcock
It’s not completely uncommon for wildlife to walk across or block roadways and runways in Alaska. Polar bears, birds, caribou, and musk ox are the typical culprits, but this time, it was a 450-pound snow-bearded seal!
Thankfully, the seal didn’t delay any flights. It was quickly removed from the runway at the Utqiagvik airport (pronounced (oot-GHAR’-vik) by sled by the North Slope Animal Control. The State Department of Transportation staff members are not allowed to handle marine mammals.
Thankfully, Scott Babcock was able to capture the priceless moment on camera.
The department’s communications director, Meadow Bailey, said Utqiagvik, an Arctic Ocean coastal community on Alaska’s North Slope, experienced heavy storms Monday. While clearing the runway after the storm, that’s when staff found the lounging seal.