Rosalita's Forced to Cancel Cinco de Mayo Petting Zoo After Rabies Threat at Wash. U.

Categories: Animals

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PaulSteinJC via Flickr
Cinco de Mayo will be even more fun without the threat of rabies-infested petting zoo animals.
Sorry, Cinco de Mayo revelers, but Rosalita's Cantina won't have a petting zoo at it's big celebration this weekend.

The City of St. Louis Health Department pulled its approval for the petting zoo after Washington University announced a wild-born bear cub from the same petting zoo must be euthanized to check for rabies. Fourteen students let the two-month-old cub, named Boo Boo, nibble on their fingers, breaking the skin and potentially exposing them to rabies.

See also: Bear Cub Will Be Put Down After Rabies Scare at Washington University Petting Zoo

Pamela Walker, the director of the health department, says Cindy Farmer, the owner of the petting zoo, was not able to provide veterinary records on her animals, prompting the department to ban the zoo from this weekend's festivities. All mammals are capable of carrying rabies, and Walker says the city feared other animals may have been exposed while in Farmer's care.

"I don't think this is a life-threatening situation at all," Walker tells Daily RFT, but the petting zoo was pulled from the Washington Avenue celebration this weekend "just to err on the side of precaution."

"I think parents would wonder what the heck we were thinking to let their kids pet animals that could have been exposed to rabies," Walker says.

Here's poor little Boo Boo at his final appearance as a petting zoo animal:


Rosalita's confirmed there will not be a petting zoo this weekend, but a manager says the restaurant is looking for new children's activities to make up the loss.

No one knows yet whether the bear, which was born in the wild, is positive for rabies, but the uncertainty was enough for the health department to stop Cindy's Zoo, the petting zoo, from bringing animals to Cinco de Mayo.

The health department had already told Cindy's Zoo that no carnivorous animals were allowed at the street festival.

Cindy's Zoo did not immediately return calls for comment.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


Location Info

Rosalita's Cantina

1229 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

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7 comments
Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

(I edited my comment so it wouldn't sound like I suddenly broke out in "duck speak"! :D )

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

While working as a nurse, I had an Alzheimer's patient that hadn't said a word in years. On one particular day, unprovoked and out of the blue, she said, "Do you know what, Honey? " (She couldn't see rhe shocked look on my face because she hadn't opened her eyes in years, either. ) Trying to be as nonchalant as possible, I responded, "No, what, dear?" The last words she ever spoke in her life: "Human Beings are the nasty animals!" I ran around the nurses's station, bent down to her wheel chair and gave her a huge huge and a kiss on the cheek, and said, "Doris! That is likely the most profound statement you have ever made!" Also, for the last time in her life, a huge, smile spread across her face while her eyebrows raised a bit as she looked both content and pleased. She died two weeks later. I will never, ever forget that life lesson she taught me. God speed to you, Doris! Could someone please explain to me why more and more people have their heads stuck up their asses lately??

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