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. i loved your patience and kindness in saving this very smart bird!
    he knew where to seek help! great job!

  2. Jesus, Will, this is the post of the century! What a beautiful thing you did. You should auction that fishhook and donate the proceeds to the wildlife charity of your choice.

  3. What an amazing thing you did. I adore the way you talked to the bird in such a calming, reassuring manner. You make me want to be a better person. Well done, you.

  4. You’re totally awesome! Wish this would teach people not to leave their trash carelessly thrown around for innocent animal to hurt themselves on.

  5. Any friend of gulls is a friend of Pringles. Thanks going out from the geese of the world.

  6. Never wonder why that gull walked up to you. Somehow injured wild animals know which humans they can trust. That gull sensed that you were the one to go to for help. That speaks volumes about your true nature. You are beautiful within.

  7. Daisywitch said it: astounding how the seagull walked to you up to you, trusted you, let you pick him up, then behaved birdie again and walked away when relieved. Fine job, fine man.

  8. Your awesome – with all the bad stuff we hear about everyday, it is lovely to hear about the good things that caring people are doing.

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