Kids and their parents had been looking forward to seeing Boo this spring. Boo, a 28-inch-tall miniature cow, amongst other animals, were planned to be part of this year’s Springtime Tallahassee festivities at Kids Park in West Peck Green Park on Saturday. Instead, they will be playing video games, tug-of-war and sack-race events, attending a book swap, and jumping inside inflatables – things that are at every other festival all across the country.
The organizers of the downtown festival canceled Boo’s appearance, as well as the whole petting zoo itself, namely due to hearing about visitors contracting E. coli at Central Florida Fair and Florida Strawberry Festival.
Susie Hall, the executive director of Springtime Tallahassee, gave the Tallahassee Democrat this statement:
“In light of the scare that has been broadcast nationwide, we just didn’t feel at this point that we wanted to (create) any greater risk than what was necessary.”
The Central Florida Fair and Florida Strawberry Festival outbreaks are thought to have been brought on by contact with animals at petting zoos or tainted food sold through festival vendors.
On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health reported that 19 children and 3 adults had confirmed cases of E. coli or a HUS. Another 15 children and 9 adults have suspected cases of E. coli.