I got an urgent call this afternoon from the newsroom while I was preparing to put together my Veteran's Day story.
I needed to drop everything and head over to the St. Louis Science Center. There was a problem with one of the dinosaurs at the "Dinosaurs Unearthed" exhibit.
"Did a giant replica dinosaur fall on someone?" I worried to myself.
Not quite. It turned out someone had damaged the Apatosaurus (I grew up learning it was a brontosaurus).
Either vandals or just kids playing with the tail ripped part of it open and broke the frame.
As luck would have it, a guy who does maintenance on the 5-month long exhibit happened to be in town and fixed up the tail in a few hours.
So there we were reporting on this major, breaking story (ha, ha) along with other TV and print media. It donned on me how this exhibit has only been open less than a week. Could this whole thing have just been a public relations ploy by the St. Louis Science Center to get some free attention?
The p.r. person was clearly amused by my question.
"I promise this is not a p.r. stunt," said Beth McClure while giggling. I did inform you (media) guys but no, it happened on it's own."
Okay, I believe her.
Someone apparently didn't bother to read the signs that say "do not climb on the dinosaur," so in the next couple of days those signs are coming down and an obtrusive fence is going up to keep people from getting close and damaging the replica of the extinct creature.