The petting circle consisted of a U-shaped bench for the children to sit on, attached to a bank of cages containing a variety of pettable animals. Since the area was completely enclosed by the bench, some of the animals were often allowed to run around in the circle while the keeper was passing around another animal.
One day while a keeper was holding some animal for a bench full of kids, he accidentally stepped on a chick. The children’s squeals and the looks on their faces told him that many of them had seen what had happened.
Thinking quickly, he scooped up the limp chick, which, of course, was stone dead, “examined” it, and announced that it would be fine after a little rest. He then took the body back to the cages and wedged it securely between a sleeping rabbit and guinea pig where it remained “sleeping” until the next shift change.