Tales from the Zoo, Part Three
I called #42, which was Zoo Emergency. Everyone came running and the building was shut down. We let the other elephants out in the yard, but they wouldn't go because one of their own was sick. They just stood, huddled together and watched. We eventually got them to the adjacent cage. Believe me, elephants are so fucking smart and intuitive, it's spooky. You'd die if I told you some of the stories I experienced. Well, long story short, Marie died. There she lay, inside her cage. We all just stood there trying to grasp the situation. Then someone asked, "How in the hell are we going to get her out of there?" The next thing I know, a Zoo Delivery Truck pulls up. On it were 25 pairs of hip-boots, 10 50-gallon drums, a case of rubber gloves and surgical masks and 10 brand new chain saws. We all looked at each other like we were in some nightmare, but hey, this was part of the job. We got in line and were assigned different areas of Marie that we were to "disassemble". Once we got going, it was the most macabre sight you could imagine. We had legs and feet over here, her head over there, her tail and truck over there. And the blood. Oh my God, there was blood EVERYWHERE. On the walls, on our tools, on us! We had 4 staff veterinarians plus 8 students. We took Marie apart piece by piece and they did various tests and biopsies on each piece as it was removed. Once the various sections were finished, they'd be carted off in the sealed drums. Finally, we got to the HUGE dismembered torso laying there in a pool of blood. The Head Veterinarian instructed Ed and myself to fire up the chain saws and cut her chest cavity open. "And when you do, get ready to move quick because 1000 pounds of intestines are going to spill out." Fucking surreal. We fire the saws up and walk toward the torso. Everyone else was standing about 10 feet behind us. Ed and I just looked at each other and smiled like, "What the fuck are we doing here?" I stuck my saw in and cut towards her neck, Ed cut towards her tail. Instantaneously, she ripped open and here came the flood of blood and guts. We were fucking up to our ankles in this shit and GOD did it stink!!!! I stood up as did Ed and we turned to walk away (we had been bent over as we cut her open). As I did, I noticed the face of the Vets standing there. They were totally freaking about something, but not telling us. Ed and I froze. I saw one of the student vets point and I turned to look. Mixed in with the blood and entrails was this gigantic mass of what looked like cottage cheese. It oozed up around ma and Ed's feet. Suddenly, the head Vet screamed "COVER YOUR MOUTH!!! IT'S TUBERCULOSIS!!!! RUN!!!" I took off as fast as I could. Ed did too but he slipped in the slimy blood/guts and fell right over backwards. He screamed. Me and another keeper grabbed him and slid him out. By now everyone was running like their asses were on fire and there were water hoses squirting all of us down. We were stripping off our clothes as we ran and we all ended up naked, grabbing our packages and shaking like school girls. The whole fucking Zoo had to take a series of TB tests afterwards and only a couple of those involved got sick. We all had to sign papers stating that we would never talk about what happened for 5 years. Everyone got 2 weeks off with "stress" pay.
Wow, that is some disgusting stuff right there! Anyhow, time for me to go eat lunch. A big thanks goes out to SA Forum Goon "Bigpeeler" for the stories! Next week, I pretend that the goons are going to do something zany, and they really do it! See you then!