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17Giant bird spotted in Alaska

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  • Chris Ashcraft
    Dec 26, 2002
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      Giant bird spotted in Alaska

      A giant bird with a reported wingspan of about 14ft has been sighted in Southwest Alaska.

      Villagers in Togiak and Manokotak say they have seen a huge bird much bigger than anything they have seen before.

      The Anchorage Daily News says a pilot taking passengers to Manokotak last week said he saw the creature.

      Scientists aren't sure what to make of the reports of the large raptor-like bird, but biologists familiar with big birds in Alaska say they're sceptical it's that big.

      "I'm certainly not aware of anything with a 14-foot wingspan that's been alive for the last 100,000 years," said federal raptor specialist Phil Schemf.

      Schemf, other biologists, a village police officer and teachers at the Manokotak School say the sightings could be of a Steller's sea eagle, a species native to northeast Asia and one of the world's largest eagles. It's about 50% bigger than a bald eagle.

      Story filed: 12:22 Wednesday 16th October 2002

      Living Fossils

      Christopher W. Ashcraft