Utqiagvik, Alaska (CBS) Many airports have problems dealing with bird strikes but the one in America’s farthest north community is having issues lately with marine mammals.
A bearded seal in October found its way onto a runway at Utqiagvik (oot-GAR’-vik), formerly Barrow. On Thursday, it was two polar bears.
State equipment operator foremen Scott Babcock says he was wrapping up an early morning runway inspection when he saw the young bears.
They ran off when they saw his truck and Babcock recorded the incident on video.
Babcock says airport personnel are not authorized to haze or chase the protected marine mammals.
He says he was happy they ran toward a snow dump rather than airport buildings or equipment where they could have been a danger to people outside vehicles.