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Obama's Fish Tale: Spawned On By A Salmon

It was supposed to be a routine photo op.

During a historic trip to Alaska intended to call attention to climate change, President Obama got a bit of a surprise while at a fishing village at Kanakanak Beach. He was holding up a caught fish for the cameras when the salmon spawned on his shoes.

It all started off so innocently. A local fisherwoman retrieved the salmon from a net in shallow water and handed it over to the leader of the free world. As soon as the president had the fish firmly in his grasp, nature took its course.

"Uh-oh, uh-oh," Obama exclaimed. "What happened there?"

The fisherwoman explained, rather calmly, that the fish was spawning.

(Note: Neither the fisherwoman nor Secret Service made any attempt to shield the president from the line of fire.)

He then turned to address the assembled press pool documenting his trip to this rocky beach. "Did you see that?" he asked, before taking one more look at his feet. "Something got on my shoes."

CNN has video of the incident.

Don't worry, the president did have on some protection — he was wearing orange rubber gloves and a black jacket.

Obama isn't the only sitting president to have had an "encounter" with wildlife while the cameras were rolling. One time when President George W. Bush was holding a news conference in the White House Rose Garden, a passing sparrow left a gift on his jacket sleeve.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.