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Naughty gecko made a 'bazillion' prank calls from animal hospital

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 11/10/2018 Nick Charity
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A gecko accidentally made a "bazillion" prank calls after it lay on top of a phone pressing buttons at an animal hospital.

Dozens of vets, employees and customers of the Marine Mammal Centre were were left confused when they starting to receive "incessant phone calls" from a number at the hospital.

One marine vet who was out getting lunch went back to work to investigate, after believing there was an emergency.

After searching the hospital, she found a gecko "sitting on the touch screen of the phone making calls with tiny gecko feet."

Dr Claire Simeone of the Ke Kai Ola animal in Hawaii said she was "panicked" when she started to receive constant phone calls from a "silent caller".

She posted on Twitter: "I started getting calls at our hospital, Ke kai Ola. I was getting lunch, so I thought maybe someone had a seal-related question. I picked up. Silence."

"More calls," she added. "Nine calls in 15 minutes. I start to panic a bit, and drive back to the hospital."

Dr Simeone said she thought there could be a "seal emergency."

But when she arrived back at work, she said "all was calm".

Thinking her phone was "on the fritz" she called the Hawaiian Telephone company for help, and discovered other people were calling the hospital asking "why are we calling them incessantly?"

But then the phone company confirmed that, "yes, a bazillion calls are coming from one line," said the vet.

"I walk around the hospital," she continued her suspenseful tale in a series of tweets. "Not the fish kitchen. Not the office. Not the viewing room.

"I get another call from TMMC on my cell. I enter the laboratory," and that's where she discovered the phantom caller.

"There is a gecko sitting on the touchscreen of the phone making calls with his tiny gecko feet!"

The marine animal veterinarian, who is an expert in her field and appeared in TEDtalks in the past, said she apologised to the phone company employee, who said he "hadn't heard that one before.

"This gecko has called me 15 times, and everyone in our recent call list" added Dr Simeone, who posted a photo of her new "telemarketer".

"I had to send out a note to all of our staff and volunteers, who may have received telemarketing calls."

Her tweets and stories about the drama have been shared tens of thousands of times on Twitter, and swapped stories of their own techno-phile animals.

Others wondered how the conversation with the Gecko might have gone.

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