This Hilarious Butt-Dial Scenario Could Only Happen in Hawaii

Oct 14, 2018

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If you received a silent phone call (or several) from Hawaii last week, it was probably a butt dial. Or, more specifically, a foot dial.

Last Thursday, a gecko made a few house calls to everyone in the recent call history of Ke Kai Ola, the Marine Mammal Center hospital and education center that cares for Hawaiian monk seals, according to AP News.

One of the recipients of these calls was Claire Simeone, marine mammal veterinarian and director of Ke Kai Ola, who was at lunch when the calls from the center started coming through.

Simeone didn’t hear anyone on the other line when she answered. She hung up, but the calls continued — nine in the course of 15 minutes. Alarmed, she went to assess the scene for herself, worried that there might be a “seal emergency,” she recalled in a Tweet.

Meanwhile, others began reporting prank calls from Ke Kai Ola.

According to her Twitter retelling, Simeone spoke with the phone company, Hawaiian Telcom, to determine if the calls were occurring because of a potential software issue or a “phone on the fritz.”

The man from the telephone company confirmed that “a bazillion calls” were being made from a phone line within the center, but that it was not a technological difficulty.

Simeone began exploring the hospital — the office, the viewing room, the so-called fish kitchen — to find the source of the rogue calls.

When she entered the laboratory, she caught the culprit in the act: a green gecko was crawling over the phone’s touchscreen.

The gecko, she explained, was using “his tiny gecko feet” to call “everyone” in the hospital’s recent call list.

After taking a picture of the gecko in the midst of making a call, Simeone moved the gecko outside, and proceeded to do a bit of damage control.

“I had to send out a note to all of our staff and volunteers, who may have received telemarketing calls. I immediately hired the gecko.”

Taking advantage of the newfound media attention, Simeone took the opportunity to talk about the hospital’s important work caring for injured, sick and orphaned Hawaiian monk seals so they can be returned to the wild.

“If there’s a little gecko that helps us share the story of conservation, then that’s a win,” she said.

Photo by Cavvy01/Getty Images

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