Not for the Squeamish…

Had a very interesting experience at the Mammal Center last night, and afterwards, in fact. Things have been winding down a bit now that pupping season is over and the elephant seals are grown and on their way. So a core group of about eight of us is able to feed and work on the sea lions and other sundries and get outta there fairly early, even in time for drinks in Sausalito. I brought my camera for the first time to capture some memories to take with me on my stay in Scotland. Got some nice shots of the crew, the old Nike missile silo that the Center sits on, and, of course, the critters.

But with cute inevitably comes crass, and so was the poor bastard we had to euthanize late in the evening. Doesn’t happen very often, but this 60 lb. California sea lion had a prolapse, or infected and swollen anus and rectum. Now when this happens, usually caused by a spinal nerve injury (perhaps an old gunshot wound?), the tissue around the inside of the butt becomes filled with nastiness and protrudes from the animals rectum. Nice enough, right? While certainly uncomfortable and tremendously unsightful in most cases, prolapses aren’t always fatal, given the right treatment. But this sea lion’s bladder was hanging out, as well. Totally farked. He absolutely wasn’t going to make it, and had to be put down. So he was loaded into a carrier, and as per my usual job, I set him up on the necropsy table to be iced for the vets come morning. I hefted the big boy on his back and positioned him for the ice bags that keep him from decaying through the night. His wound was hanging out all over and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the pain that he surely went thorough before being saved by a merciful death.

Upon my return from the getting the ice, I came back to my deceased little friend pointing an erection in my direction. Now please don’t think I’m a sicko; I promise that I’m not into post-mortem necrophelia marine mammal-sex. It just happened, and by luck, I wasn’t actually in the room when it did. Can’t prove it, of course, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. In any event, I got a picture of it, just for you. DO NOT click on the link unless you think you can handle it. I’m posting only because I was amazed at the occurrence and happen to have had my camera with me. I must say that this was one of the more macabre things that I’ve seen in recent years, and even the vet staff had never seen this phenomenon before. Sure, it happens with humans quite often, but sea lions? Who woulda thunk it?

Dead Meat

On a lighter, and less vomitous note, a wonderful musician showed up at No Name when our staff went for drinks. Paris DeLane is a soulful dude from Chicago who has played with everyone and just happened to have been in town recording at The Plant. Had a nice, small, private show over pints and he whipped out covers of Prince, Terence Trent D’arby, and Sir Barry White. Cheers, brother. You rocked.

6 Responses to “Not for the Squeamish…”

  1. agntprovocateur Says:
    July 18th, 2003 at 3:25 am

    oh my what a story and photo…. something to show the grandkids.

  2. solarnarf Says:
    July 18th, 2003 at 5:44 am

    That picture makes me want to cry and laugh all at the same time.

  3. dr_beep Says:
    July 21st, 2003 at 2:37 am

    Aw jesus, yeah, I had to click didn't I?

  4. cygnoir Says:
    July 27th, 2003 at 2:16 pm

    I had no idea it was possible to be desensitized in quite this manner. Thank you?

  5. victoriabug Says:
    August 5th, 2003 at 3:44 am

    how strange! exactly what is your field?
    on another note, hi! 🙂
    ..just looking over your interests.. jimmy corrigan! yays!

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    August 6th, 2003 at 2:17 am

    Hey, Bug!
    My field has nothing to do with erections OR prolapses. Actually I'm a History Master's student and I manage a game store in Marin for the time being. The Marine Mammal stuff is strictly volunteer work, and fun as hell to boot.
    Hi, to you! Thanks for saying, "Hi!"
    Yes, Jimmy is my mentor, guru, and soul brother, which isn't really as sad as it seems, is it? Tell me about what he's done for YOU lately…

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