While I always call Seals into the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, I almost broke my phone dialing this one in so quickly. We just had to know the story here. Turns out The Center had seen this Seal before, and marked it so they know how frequently it returns and can more easily track its progress.
They politely asked if I could read them the number painted on its forehead.
Guh? In computer programming, a common error is “NaN”: Not A Number. It crops up when you mistakenly attempt to cast some data type, like a string of text, as a number. This is certainly a NaN situation. It looks like it says “Hi”. NaN. There is also a data type called a “blob”. Sure looks like that too. NaN.
But I suppose this NaN situation is understandable. Can you imagine the poor MMSC volunteer sitting on the beach, straddling a slippery wet seal, dipping his hand into a bucket of pink paint, and trying to produce a legible typeface on the Seal’s adorable little head while it tries to bite that hand?
Turns out Larry, while a bit banged up, has been thoroughly checked out and is going to be just fine.