AK DOT Warns of ‘Low Sealings’ in Utiqiagvik Monday

Seal on Utiqiagvik runway. Image-Scott Babcock/Facebook
Seal on Utiqiagvik runway. Image-Scott Babcock/Facebook

The Alaska Department of Transportation warned pilots of “low sealings” after the runway in Alaska’s northermost city, Utqiagvik, had an unexpected visitor on Monday.

When the crew at the airport in the city formerly known as Barrow was clearing the runway, they discovered a 450 pound Bearded Seal in the middle of the runway. The seal had made its way onto the runway during a heavy winter storm on Monday.

A state employee, Scott Babcock took a picture of the marine visitor and posted it to Facebook.

North Slope Animal Control responded to the airport, and utilizing a sled, removed the large animal from the strip before it became a hazard to in-coming flights.

While creatures such as polar bears, muskox, caribou, and birds are routinely seen on the runway, this was the first seal sighting.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adsense-responsive”]