The Blade News reports that less than a month after officials warned they might close it for the summer because a routine animal screening detected an infectious bacteria, The Toledo Zoo’s petting zoo is scheduled to reopen.
The petting zoo closed June 24, after one Lucas County child became infected with campylobacteriosis. Although a portion of the zoo reopened a short time later so that visitors could view the animals, today’s full opening means that children can pet the animals again.
Campylobacteriosis is extremely common. Once passed to humans, it can cause a fever, diarrhea, and vomiting that typically lasts several days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, in rare cases, it can be life-threatening.
Dr. Wynona Shellabarger, the zoo’s interim veterinarian, said the petting zoo’s cows, sheep, pigs, alpacas, miniature donkeys, and other animals have been tested for campylobacter. “The results are all coming back negative, and the animals are healthy,” she said.
The animals in the petting zoo that are on loan at the zoo for the summer will be tested about once a month. Among other precautionary steps, the zoo now sanitizes petting zoo handrails twice daily. Sanitizing wipes and hand-washing stations are provided.