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  • May
  • 28

PETA Employee Rescues Gull!

Posted by at 5:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

PETA Employee Rescues Gull! by Guest BloggerOn a sunny Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, you’ll find most people jogging along the Embarcadero or sipping a glass of wine on an outdoor patio. Go a little farther south, however, and you come upon a part of San Francisco that somehow got skipped in Frommer’s: the rendering plant.

Aside from its obvious purpose, the rendering plant is also home to a colony of feral cats and a resting place for hundreds of sea birds, all under the umbrella of a noxious, permeating smell. On any given day, you can walk among days- or months-old corpses of birds and almost invariably find an ailing animal. This made the plant an obvious choice for where my friend Kelle and I would be spending our afternoon.

With our rescue materials in hand, we set out on our search and within minutes found a gull coated in oil. He was severely underweight because the oil on his wings had been preventing him from flying and hunting. He was quite skeptical of us and kept backing up toward the Bay as we cautiously approached him. He finally plunged into the water and struggled to stay afloat. When he reached an isolated marsh spot about 50 feet from land, we knew that if we didn’t get him right then, he could drown. So we looked at each other, and by the time I said, “I’m going in,” I had stripped off my pants and shoes.


It was my turn to plunge into the freezing water. I made my way over as Kelle was shouting reminders of the proper way to pick up a gull-I was focused on the proper way to climb barefoot over sharp, slippery rocks without killing myself. When I got to the gull, I could tell that he had resigned himself to his fate. I assured him that we were there to change that. I (properly) picked him up and started the treacherous trek back; all while, Kelle thought it necessary to take photos of me in my underwear wading through the Bay.

Once back, we immediately wrapped the gull’s cold body in a sweatshirt, placed him in a rescue box, and headed to a local wildlife rehab center.


We kept up with his progress, which was slow but steady. About a month after the rescue, we learned that he was being released back into the wild! Knowing that he was getting a second chance at life was well worth the photos of me that circulated on Facebook. So if you should find yourself on a day with nothing to do, remember this: You never know who might need your help, so choose your underwear carefully.

Jaci Kassmeier works as an events manager for PETA. She lives with her companion dog, Durjo, who weighs 110 pounds but is as quiet as a mouse when he’s sneaking up on your lunch.

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  • Marcia says:

    I have seen many people who hate these beautiful birds. It is always good to hear of people doing lifesaving and compassionate things, particularly to the creatures of this earth who get so little care and concern.

  • Stella Hassan Kuperberg says:

    You are a great person. Believe me, something good will happen to you. Be patient, it will happen at a time you least expect. I do the work you do too.
    WONDERFUL, thank you so much. It is the biggest gift to me just watching that gulls face, and the fact you were the helping hand. You rock the animal world! Kudos to you!!

  • Evie says:

    You are wonderful!!!! Thanks to your compassion one more soul was rescued!!

  • Diane Sanders says:

    Thank you for being there for the bird in need and for all your work with animals. God Bless

  • Diane Sanders says:

    I say thank you both for your kindness to other living beings. You really have the spirit and I am happy to know there are people like you to share the world with.

  • Crista says:

    Thank you for saving the gull, Jaci! Your very brave to get wet and cold. Most people wouldn’t care about a gull. Out here in Northern Alberta, Canada, they think of them as pests. I enjoy seeing them in the skies and I wouldn’t let that poor bird die either.

  • mary kassmeier says:

    Compassion, a call to action, common sense and clean underwear! What more could a mother expect? I am proud of you Jaci, keep up the good work.

  • Rita Gehrke says:

    Great job Jaci and Kelle! Thank you so much for helping that gull. I’m so happy and proud of you. PETA people are the best! I rescued a gull from a parking lot where it had been limping about, after being hit by a car. Gulls are protected here in Utah and have to be helped, so I took him to the closest vet for treatment. He was transferred to the Tracy Aviary, where many injured birds are saved and returned to the wild. Unfortunately, my gull was fatally hurt and was humanely put to sleep. It cheered me up to hear that your gull made it. I just got my 20 year plaque of support from PETA, which reminded me of all the tremendous good we have done for animals over the years. Keep on making a difference you two! Each animal rescued is a huge victory for all of us who care. Thank you so much for all you do!
    For the animals,
    Rita Gehrke

  • Sandra says:

    Nice story, good job Jaci.

  • Sylvan Giacchino says:

    Funny as well as loving! You are a wonderful human for caring for our “brethren”. Bless you, may you always be well, and continue on! I most certainly will equip my miniscule car (I say proudly) with rescue equipment and follow your lead.

  • Monica says:

    Thankyou for taking the time to rescue that poor bird……….you earned a feather for your wings that day 🙂

  • sammy says:


  • Cindy Williams says:

    It’s so nice to know that nice people exist. I love the look on the gulls face after he was rescued.

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