Parents’ Suit Proceeds in ‘Jungle World’ Mishap
Andrew Denney, New York Law Journal
A lawsuit by the parents of two students who claim they were injured when pushed by another student during a field trip to the Bronx Zoo can go forward, an appellate court has ruled.
Ah, the things that happen at the Bronx Zoo!
Which reminds me of a mortifying incident in which I was the key participant, at the age of 5.
My Uncle Saul took my cousin Bobby and me to the Bronx Zoo. In those days–and maybe still, today–one of the high points in a zoo visit was the seal feeding event. The zoo had rigged a small platform in front of the seal pond which acted as the stage for this performance. On the platform was a zoo worker and a tank of fresh fish.
The seals were either tipped off that it was feeding time or had internal clocks. Whichever, when feeding time came, the seals were happy actors, rushing over to the platform side of the pool, squealing, thrusting their heads up, mouths open in a pleasant feeding frenzy.
“Gimme fish gimme fish!” they seemed to be crying out.
A special treat for us kids, if not the seals, was: kid walked up the platform’s stairs clutching a dime handed to her by her parent or parent substitute and there, facing on one hand yammering seal faces and on the other yammering parents and hyperactive children, the kid was supposed to hand the dime to the zoo worker who would, in turn, hand her a fish. Which, with the loud chorus of yapping seals and yapping homo sapiens, she then was supposed to fling into the open mouths of the eager seals (and watch as they fought to the death over the fish, but no, I just made that part up).
One child–shall I call her Naomi? Sure, because that was her name–found the experience somewhat confusing and, instead of handing the dime to the zoo worker and getting a fish in exchange…threw the dime into the seal pond.
The seals were not appreciative.
Everybody else laughed and laughed and laughed.
Naomi has never recovered from the shame.