Talkin’ ‘Bout My Gull

(UPDATE 10.22): I just have to drop this in at the top how deeply touched I am by the outpouring of kind words and appreciation. I’m still amazed that things played out as they did — and so successfully. As some of you know I fancy myself something of an amateur one-man Random Animal Assistance League (be it at my house, near downtown or in the wilds of South Los Angeles), but never in my craziest dreams did I think it would include such a scenario. Each and every one of you who took the time to comment blew me away and made my day, so from the bottom of my heart: Thank You!

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The first grown-up book I ever read cover to cover was “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” which is about gulls as much as another cherished book of mine, “Watership Down” is about rabbits, but when you’re a snot-nosed 9-year-old kid still moving his lips as he reads Richard Bach’s anthropomorphic allegory was just what a wide-eyed punk needed to ever-romanticize the sea birds. Even to this day as a wide-eyed old dude whenever I see a flock of the feathered fiends I’ll pick one out to be my own personal JLS.

Well one picked me out yesterday while I stopped on my bike ride to work along Ballona Creek at Centinela to feed some old bread destined for the dumpster to the birds there. Except it had a big problem in the form of a nasty three-pronged fishhook embedded in its mouth, which prevented it from enjoing the tasty bread bits, closing its beak… or perhaps even living for much longer:


I go into deathless elaboration on the ensuing rescue mission here, accompanied by some long unedited video clips that I’ve embedded after the jump. But if you’re in need of a little bit of a happyendingness or just want to hear a grown man weep, check ’em out.

What had been planned as a few morning moments spent feeding bread to the birds of Ballona Creek and capturing a timelapse vid of the chaos, took a heartrending turn when a gull with a three-pronged fishhook embedded in its mouth stepped up and introduced itself.


A bit of frivolous recreation suddenly became a rescue operation, as I figured out a way to catch the bird and got busy trying to remove the hook without doing further damage… while having unwittingly pointed the camera at my crotch for the remaining couple of minutes before the battery died. Thank you battery.


In  this segment of the aftermath there’s no CrotchCam to apologize for, but I must say sorry for getting a bit blubbery over the unexpected success and relief I had in removing the hook from the poor bird and basically saving its life.


62 thoughts on “Talkin’ ‘Bout My Gull”

  1. You ask how this stuff keeps happening to you. I think it happens to lots of people, but most of them don’t notice. It is only a few of us who care enough about animals AND feel like we are capable of doing something about the ones in distress who do these things. I applaud you for your wonderful efforts.

    From another animal-saver

  2. Hey, @feliciaday tweeted this out, just so you know and, hey, thanks for the good samaritan work / feel good story that went with my 1st cup of coffee…


  3. There will doubtless be no small number of people who, for whatever reason, come along to spread their hate and inhumanity on this lovely story. Just please know that for every one of those anti-social misanthropes there are thousands more of us who are touched by and applaud what you did here. You are an example for us all. Thank you!

  4. That was very awesome of you to do. I don’t know many people that would take time and effort to do what you just did. I applaud and have a lot of respect for you. You have a very good heart, and don’t change. The world needs more people like you.

  5. bless your sweet heart. there actually ARE people still left in the world who give a dang about other living things.

    get this…last year at my sister’s graduation from high school, her grandmother fainted and was in medical distress. what did my sister and mother do? ignored the woman, rolled their eyes, told my mother’s husband they were completely “mortified”, and spent the whole night pouting because they had to go to a hospital rather than a party that night.

    they acted like this about a HUMAN BEING. absolutely disgusting. haven’t talked to either of them for ages now because i don’t need people like that in my life.

    but you, sir…you have restored my faith in humanity. that little birdie will remember you for the rest of its days and probably talk about you to his other birdie friends.

  6. Wow! What a touching and wonderful story! Loads of good Karma headed your way, my friend.
    I’m so glad there are people out there who care enough to help an animal in need. BRAVO!

  7. My Hero, its people like you that just blow my mind, isn;’t it an amazing feeling to save a life. I saved a pigeon stuck in a plastic bag once, felt so good about.

    Seriously amazing. Thank you for taking the time to save the bird.

  8. Kudos to you sir! The world would be better off if only more people took the time to notice and CARE about everyone around them, animals or otherwise.

  9. Will, you should send this to every major media news org. It seems at least as big a story as the balloon boy who wasn’t in the balloon. Glenn Beck at Fox News will probably feature the story, saying it’s a liberal plot by PETA who implanted the fishhook on purpose to promote animal rights.

  10. You know? We need more people like you! It was ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL what you did for this poor bird. Yup, cried too. Whenever I see a stray, I try approaching it, see if it has a collar – and return it to its owner. Every day there seems to be horror stories about animals. Well your story proves that there are special, caring people, like yourself, that will go out of their way to help. You definitely RAWK in my book!!!!

  11. I know it has been said on here already, but way to go! Just…way to go, you made that bird’s life by being a good steward of nature.

  12. Echoing all the above praise and hero worship. Also noting, thanks to Tara who pointed it out, that this might be the longest comment thread in metblogs history that doesn’t include anyone saying you suck or are racist. Nice work!

  13. I thought these things only happened to me. Congratulations on a successful extraction. I also applaud you for letting yourself feel what you were feeling. Well done.

  14. I plan to shake you hand in heaven. If I get there. I wish all your endevours to be a success. God keeps track of all the bird you know. I could say that you made him happy. I love you man!

  15. This made me cry. It fills me with joy to know that there are still people out there who care enough to do something like this.

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