Today in aquarium-land, we had a group come through in the afternoon with two young twin boys, one of who was armed with a sippy cup full of cheerios.
I will be the first to admit that I do not always enforce the ‘no food or drink in the aquarium’ rule, but I will try to encourage guests with food to observe some commonsense rules. Such as, don’t set a coffee cup on the lip of the touch tank. True, the starfish don’t move around very much, but pouring caffeinated beverages into their water supply is still a bad idea. So don’t put your cup there; because I will call you out on it. Another commonsense rule: do not let your small child carry the food. They will (a) leave it on a chair, (b) spill it on the carpet, or (c) try to feed it to an animal. Yes, some kids have tried to do this, and I always feel bad telling them not to, since I do appreciate the sentiment (if not the nutritive content) of their offering.
This particular kid at least was eating the cheerios himself. Unfortunately, when the kid ran around, he shook the sippy cup so much that cheerios flew out in all directions. I was in the bird exhibit when I noticed this, and it looked a little like one of those toys you give to dogs where they roll it around and treats fly out. If the kittiwake gulls had discovered that these small brown projectiles were edible, they could very well have decided to play the part of the dog.