Airports in Alaska, too, are subject to encounters with wildlife.At the Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport in Utqiagvik, they say that finding musk oxen on the runway is part of everyday life. But, when an animal of another kind laid out to sunbathe on the runway Monday, even airport officials were surprised.
Monday, Scott Babcock shared a photo and video of a bearded seal cavalierly lounging on the runway at the airport with the caption, FOD– airport slang for “Foreign Object Debris.” The post received lots of attention and was eventually shared by the Alaska Department of Transportation, who cracked a joke warning pilots of “low sealings” at the airport.
Babcock says DOT employees are not allowed to haze marine mammals and are only able to observe. That’s why North Slope Animal Control was called out to safely remove the animal from the runway and airport operations were able to resume as usual. Animal control removed the bearded seal, that’s estimated to weigh 450 pounds, with a sled. Bailey says airport staff reports seeing birds, caribou, polar bears and musk ox on the runway, but the seal sighting is a first.
Courtesy ; KTVA