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Polar Bears Spotted at America’s Most Northerly Airport

The mammals were sighted during an inspection of Wiley Post—Will Rogers International Airport (BRW).

Two young polar bears were recently spotted at Alaska’s Wiley Post—Will Rogers International Airport (BRW), the public facility that serves Utqiaġvik, the city formerly known as Barrow. The sightings occurred last Thursday during an inspection of the runway at America’s most northerly airport, Fox News reports.

Scott Babcock spotted the animals as he was finishing his routine check of the tarmac at BRW and videotaped his encounter with the two bears, which quickly cleared the area after having been spotted. In the video clip, Babcock, who is an equipment operator foreman, can be heard to say, “Well, it’s just another day at the Will Rogers-Wiley Post Memorial Airport.”

While this particular pair beat a hasty retreat after having been discovered, Babcock says that, should a surprise encounter between a bear and a human occur, there is always the potential for danger. He was quoted by the outlet as saying that, in a scenario like this “things could get real ugly real fast”. The bears are particularly difficult to spot during Alaska’s dark winter months. “Those bears could be 40 yards away from you and you wouldn’t know it,” Babcock said.

However, upon encountering the headlights of Babcock’s truck, these two polar bears headed to an infield area of BRW and then later to a snow dump on the outskirts of the facility.

As to why the pair were attracted to the airport in the first place, Babcock has his own theory. “They’re looking for food. They’re looking for whatever they can find, like any bear. If they can find some scrap lying around, it’s easier to pick a scrap up than it is to kill a seal,” he said.

Comments are Closed.
RUAMKZ December 31, 2017

Is there TWO Will Rogers airports? Always thought OKC was the Will Rogers airport.

Superjeff December 21, 2017

Good grief! Somebody saw polar bears at an airport north of the Arctic Circle :-) What's next? This is not exactly a busy airport (yes, I've been there, albeit years ago). I would think that it would make an opportunity for good photography when the bears come.