At The San Diego Park

There are so many versions of this one, it must either be a classic, or among the most stolen shaggy dogs.

Last year the San Diego Wild Animal Park opened its first dolphin exhibit. Although the exhibit was open for public viewing, its primary purpose was to save a rare species of dolphin found in the Indian Ocean.

Breeding was obviously an important part of the program, but initially the dolphins wouldn’t cooperate. After trying and failing in several attempts to interest the dolphins in “amour” the trainers consulted a dolphin zoologist at Scripps Oceanographic Institute who suggested that the problem might be dietary. It seemed that this species of dolphin often fed on young seagulls, particularly during their mating season. The zoologist suggested capturing some young gulls and feeding them to the dolphins to see if it would restore their interest in becoming parents.

The trainers were skeptical, but nevertheless went to the beach and captured a number of young gulls. Placing them in cages they took them back to the park, unloaded them and carried them toward the dolphin pool. As they approached, however, they came across two old lions that had evidently escaped from their enclosure and were asleep on the path.

Upon seeing the lions, one of the trainers asked the other whether they should go back and report the escape, but his companion pointed out that the lions were clearly passive, old and lazy, and that it was important to get the young gulls to the dolphins quickly. They proceeded along the path, stepping over the sleeping lions. As they did, however, the gulls saw the lions and began to squawk loudly, awakening the lions who promptly dispatched and ate the two trainers. The incident was reported fairly widely at the time.

The morale of this unhappy event is: Don’t transport young gulls across staid lions for immoral porpoises.

Bie Yie Ju Fox comments:

On your no. 109, my variant is that the freeze-dried baby seagulls make the dolphins live forever, so the driver was “transporting young gulls across the staid lion for immortal porpoises.” Makes it a quintuple, rather than a mere quadruple.

Fraternity brothers in college actually inflicted physical violence on me for that one.

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1 Comment

  1. Bob

     /  August 31, 2013

    I heard it originally as the lion having been rescued from a private zoo and becoming the property of California, so it was state lions for immortal porpoises.

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