12 | June 27, 2019 | Malibu surfside news community

Tourist behind viral seagull photo works in Malibu

Joe Coughlin, Publisher

Alicia Jessop’s perfectly timed photo (LEFT) of a seagull stealing her lunch went viral, but don’t worry, she did end up with a Maine lobster

roll (RIGHT). Photos Submitted

Pepperdine University professor

Alicia Jessop likes to give

people a hard time when they take

photos of their food and post them

on social media.

But this time — holding a colorful

and full lobster roll during her

first time in Maine outside one of

the most recognizable lighthouses

in the world — she couldn’t resist.

She wasn’t the only one.

As Jessop raised her lobster roll

for the photo, an opportunistic

seagull dove in, snatched it and

tossed it to the ground for a feast

with its pals.

“I thought I dropped the lobster

roll,” said Jessop, who was preoccupied

with taking the Instagrammable

shot. “As I took the picture,

it just flew out of my hand. I

looked down and his friends were

enjoying it.”

The real story is what happened


After absorbing the absurdity of

the moment, Jessop went back to

her phone to see if she caught any

of the action. And did she ever.

Her photo depicts the exact

moment — up-close in the foreground

— the wide-eyed gull

wrapped its beak around the end

of her lobster roll. Knowing she

had to share the once-in-a-lifetime

photo, she posted it to Twitter

— with the text: “This is why

we can’t have nice things. I was

trying to take a picture of the lobster

roll I ordered in Maine and

well, this happened (crying-laugh

and slap-face emojis) — where it

quickly went viral.

As the photo worked its way

to more than 200,000 likes and

29,000 retweets, news outlets

came a calling — local and national

(BuzzFeed, People, The Guardian).

Then, TV shows picked it up

— “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Live

with Kelly and Ryan,” “Good

Morning America.”

Jessop was in awe of the journey

on which her photo took her.

She also was humbled by it.

“It’s mindblowing,” she said.

“I’ve been a writer for eight years

and have had good experiences

in writing, but then I wake up

one morning and I’m on ‘Good

Morning America.’ People say I

deserve an award for the photo

I didn’t even mean to take. It’s

humbling because I woke up every

morning trying to be the best

and then, I don’t even plan to.”

Jessop, who lives in Oak Park,

just finished her second year

teaching sports law at Pepperdine.

She is originally from Denver and

came to Malibu for the opportunity

at Pepperdine.

She was just on vacation in

York, Maine, when she went to

visit the famous Nubble Lighthouse

on Cape Neddick. Seemed

like a perfect time to get a lobster

roll from the nearby spot, Fox’s

Lobster House.

After the seagull snafu, Jessop

did go back and get another lobster

roll; though, it cost her another $21.

But all is well that ends well.

Her viral photo and story attracted

a hook up of complimentary

lobster rolls from Get Maine



From Page 7

to the many people who

have contributed to the

program over the years,”

said Charlotte Parry, executive

director of the Santa

Monica Mountains Fund.

“The public support for

our wildlife is incredibly


NPS research has demonstrated

the need to build

a wildlife corridor over

the 101 Freeway. Data has

shown that major development

and freeways restrict

their movement on both

sides and that this lack

of connectivity has led to

inbreeding and reduced

genetic diversity among

the mountain lion population

in the Santa Monica


In the last 20 years, 21

out of 22 mountain lions

have tested positive for

exposure to rat poison and

four died from poisoning.

The Fund has been working

with the National Park

Service on a campaign

called Break the Poison

Chain in an effort to discourage

the use of rat poison

and suggest alternatives

that are not harmful

to wildlife.

Photo Op

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Additional Services

fax: 310.456.2594

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Ron Underwood shared this snapshot of the sky in


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