Salmon leaves its mark on Obama

US President Barack Obama holding the fish which excreted on his shoes at Bristol Bay in Alaska on Wednesday, which was the final day of his trip to the 49th US state.
US President Barack Obama holding the fish which excreted on his shoes at Bristol Bay in Alaska on Wednesday, which was the final day of his trip to the 49th US state.ST PHOTO: REUTERS

KOTZEBUE (Alaska) • People get excited when they see the United States President. Some snap pictures, others flash excited grins and a select few even faint.

In Alaska on Wednesday, President Barack Obama got an aroused response from a salmon he was holding: It spawned on his shoes.

"That's a nice-looking fish," Mr Obama said, as he stood on the beach of Bristol Bay on the third and final day of his trip to the 49th state. "You see that? Something got on my shoes. He was spawning a bit."

To be clear, neither the gender of the salmon nor the precise nature of the excretion could be confirmed.

Ostensibly in Alaska to point out the dangers of climate change, Mr Obama has also had a bit of fun. He has communed with sunbathing sea lions during an Arctic boat tour, trekked through the wilderness with survivalist Bear Grylls and bought ice cream for the travelling press corps. He even took over the White House Instagram account, writing touristy captions next to his pictures.

It was raining and muddy at Bristol Bay on Wednesday, but he did not seem bothered by the weather or the salmon's assault on his presidential footwear.

"He was happy to see me," Mr Obama said, as he stood next to local fishermen Mae Syvrud and Alannah Hurley, who planned to cook lunch.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'Salmon leaves its mark on Obama'. Print Edition | Subscribe