Huge Seal Brings Airport To Standstill By Sunbathing On Runway

by : UNILAD on : 28 Oct 2017 19:05
Wikimedia Commons

Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport in the northern tip of Alaska had a run in with wildlife that grounded all aircraft.


No planes could take off because a 32-stone seal decided the runway was a great place to do a little sunbathing.

This big guy decided to do a little wintertime sunbathing on the Barrow Airport runway yesterday. #alaskaproblems North…

Posted by Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities on Tuesday, 24 October 2017

In the seal’s defence the dark tarmac was probably a lot warmer than the surrounding snowy tundra – so it was probably quite a smart move.

Airport foreman Scott Babcock was the first to spot the aquatic intruder, he told ABC News:


It was very strange to see the seal. I’ve seen a lot of things on runways, but never a seal.


Posted by Scott Babcock on Monday, 23 October 2017

The airport is less than 200m from the sea so the bearded seal didn’t have far to travel to find a spot to enjoy the Alaskan sunshine.

That said, seals aren’t exactly known for their incredible mobility on land so the huge animal must have worked quite hard to massively inconvenience all the travellers.


Despite this wildlife control officers used a snow blower and a sled to move the furry speed bump on.

Meadow Bailey at the department of transport, said staff at the airport have had issues with animals such as reindeer, polar bears and musk ox in the past but this was the first trespassing seal.

Topics: Animals


ABC News and 1 other
  1. ABC News

    450-pound seal removed from Alaska airport runway on a sled

  2. The Telegraph

    Huge sunbathing seal brings Alaskan airport to a halt