Animals from the wild, like polar bears, wandering on to the tarmac of an airport is not an unusual occurrence in Alaska. But airport authorities in Utqiagvik, the northernmost city of the United States, were baffled to find a 450-pound seal “sunbathing” on the runway, bringing the entire airport to a halt.
In a video (above) shared on Facebook by Scott Babcock (a staff member at the airport), the bearded seal can be seen basking in the sun in all its glory and soaking in some Vitamin D. “We’ve got some traffic on the runway,” Babcock quips as he zooms in on the seal.
“It was very strange to see the seal. I’ve seen a lot of things on runways, but never a seal,” Babcock told ABC News. Since the department’s staff members are not allowed to handle marine mammals, Babcock took a video of the massive mammal, while he waited for the North Slope Anima Control to arrive and safely help evacuate the seal on a sled.
Even the state Department of Transportation decided to have a little fun with the situation, and warned of “low sealings” at the airport in a post on Facebook – a pun on the “low ceiling” warning that’s used to warn of low clouds and poor visibility.