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Petting zoo bear will not be euthanized after rabies scare

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A bear cub at a petting zoo on Washington University's campus caused a rabies scare. As many as 18 students who had contact with the animal were bitten. The St. Louis County Health Department has determined that the bear is not a rabies threat and students are not at risk to undergo treatment. The bear will not be euthanized to test for the disease.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is now weighing in on the bear biting incident at Washington University this week.

This is a statement from PETA released to the media, "Bears such as Boo Boo are doomed from the start. Petting zoos are disaster zones for diseases, including rabies and E. coli, and also deprive wild animals of everything that is natural and important to them. Petting-zoo operators and other animal exploiters sign death warrants for these animals and jeopardize the health of everyone involved.”

Cindy's Petting Zoo was allowed on campus this week to provide some stress relief for students during finals. The zoo brought a variety of animals including a small bear cub named, "Boo Boo." Several students held and cuddled the bear and it bit and nipped at some of them, breaking skin on 14 students.

We visited Cindy's Petting Zoo in Moscow Mills Missouri on Friday. It is full of dozens of animals, including camels, ponies, pigs, goats, rams. I was told by a worker there that the owner Cindy Farmer was not there and wouldn't be back until later on Friday. I have left voice-mail messages for her and have not heard back.

Washington University said this is an extremely unfortunate situation for students and the bear cub. A spokeswoman said a student organization has for the past several years worked with the petting zoo to bring in animals during finals week. She said this year without the university`s prior knowledge. The petting zoo included a 2-month old bear cub. She indicated changes may be made in the event in future years.

Previous story: Petting zoo bear cub bites Wash U students


  • CrazyB

    Why did they wait until it bit 14 kids before they decided to remove it from the petting zoo area? I don’t want to see the poor thing euthanized because these animals really aren’t meant to be “cuddled” and it was probably acting on instinct. But if it was biting, nipping, whatever, it should have been unavailable to “cuddle” after the first kid got bit.

    • Greg

      I have a feeling many of these bites were akin to the type you get playing with an aggressive kitten or puppy. Most likely only one person raised a stink about it and then they looked at other people and saw they had scratches. And then of course, this being the USA, everyone completely over-reacted

  • morrow

    This is not on the bear but should be on the smart students that stand in line and see this happening and wait their turn.

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    Well, dimwit conservative capitalists, always willing to do anything for a buck ’cause it sure beats working, don’t seem to mind abusing animals for profit.

    And most of the right-wing trash associated with capitalists who defend it don’t seem to understand anything about “nature” and that in this case, it’s the cubs nature to nip and bit – probably thinks it’s mom handing it some food.

    Too bad Momma Bear wasn’t there when the operators brought in this cub – I’m sure she would have had something to say about it and those operators would have been running the other way like cowardly little capitalists! They probably had to use their Big Guns like the little men they are to take this cub from it’s mom. It’s the American NRA way!

    • ByeByeToTheRite

      And Moscow Hills, MO? That explains everything! Just another dimwad Missouri hick abusing animals ’cause they have no other detectable skills or talents to make the big bucks they so feel they deserve to make at the expense of others – or in this case, defenseless little animals. I hope a bear tears Cindy’s head off someday!

    • Amy

      Have you researched this woman’s petting zoo, does she have any violations against her about abusing animals? Sure doesn’t sound like it. I guess it burns you that someone had a creative thought on how to make money instead of being dependent on the government. Maybe you should walk in this woman’s shoes for a few days and see how much she works to take care of these animals before you start your hate rant. I doubt you’d be able to keep up with her!! Second, why don’t you focus your hate rant at those who ALLOWED this petting zoo on campus. Had whoever said “No” there wouldn’t have been 18 students worried about rabies treatment. Also, why don’t you find out why this bear cub is without it’s mother before you start your hate rant against the NRA. More than likely the mother was killed due to your spectacular enviromental involvement of thinking “We know better.” Your wonderful green state of California is a perfect example of how well you environmentalist butt in WAY too much.

  • Tina Marie

    Cindy is a nasty drunk that has been abusing animals for YEARS!!!! Do some research and see why her bar in North County was shut down years ago……

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    This is b.s. It’s Totally the NRA’s fault. If I didn’t make so much on disability benefits I would move out of north Webster Groves and go to Portland. Maybe grow my dreadlocks back out.

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