By Andrea Romano
July 24, 2019
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Spotting a random animal on a runway is one thing, but wildlife wandering through airport security is quite another.

At Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, a mule was spotted in the departure section of Terminal 1 on Wednesday, the Times of Israel reported. And yes, we mean mule as in the farm animal.

Airports and surrounding wildlife can have an unpredictable relationship at times. All over the world, animals like alligators, seals, turtles, and especially birds are often spotted wandering onto runways and holding up traffic. It’s not often that these animals make it far enough to actually wander into a terminal, though.

And it’s not like hooved creatures are foreign to airports either. Miniature horses and therapy pigs are becoming more popular as emotional support animals. Sometimes, they are even employed by the airports themselves to help ease stress for passengers.

Mules, however, are a pretty rare sight. According to the Times of Israel, it is unclear where the farm animal actually came from as it had no tag, microchip, or other identification that would lead investigators to its owner. The American Mule Museum notes that mules have been deliberately bred by humans, so it is unlikely that the animal was wild.

Remarkably, the animal was incredibly calm, arguably nonchalant, while walking through the terminal. A video going around online shows the animal ignoring security staff as passengers look on.

According to the Agriculture Ministry inspectors, the mule is around four or five years old and in good health. It was rounded up quickly and taken to a safe area where it was given food and water, the Times of Israel reported.

It’s most likely that the animal was just looking for food, though an airport seems like an unlikely place to find something mule-friendly. Perhaps it just waiting to pick up a friend.

The animal will be examined and placed for adoption if an owner cannot be found.

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