Animal Bone Collector

“There is no house like it anywhere. Every room of Ray Bandar’s San Francisco abode is crammed with animal body parts, especially the skulls of dead creatures decapitated by him. Even the bathroom, which features a camel pelvis and caribou antlers, has been overtaken. ‘The wife’s not happy,’ he said. ‘She can’t take a bath anymore.’ But Alkmene Bandar is used to it. Her 79-year-old husband, a longtime research associate with the California Academy of Sciences, has been collecting skulls for more than half a century. He still roams the beaches of Northern California searching for the carcasses of marine mammals, which is how he ended up being the subject of a movie in this weekend’s San Francisco Ocean Film Festival. ‘He’s the old world,’ said Beth Cataldo, whose 30-minute film, ‘Ray Bandar: A Life with Skulls,’ will be shown at the festival on Sunday. ‘He’s very unique.” w/ photos

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