Petting zoo brought onto college campus, bear cub bites 14 students

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KTVI) – A petting zoo at Washington University in St. Louis had an unexpected turn when a bear cub bit at least 14 students.

KTVI-TV reported that a small cub named “Boo Boo” was brought onto campus as part of a petting zoo to relieve stress before finals.

Several students held and cuddled the bear and it bit and nipped at some of them, breaking skin on 14 students.

Officials said 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.

Washington University said this is an unfortunate situation for students and the bear cub.

A spokeswoman said a student organization has worked with the petting zoo for the past several years to bring in animals during finals week.

The official indicated that changes may be made in the event in future years.

Cindy’s Petting Zoo in Moscow Mills, Missouri had brought other animals including camels, ponies, pigs, goats and rams.


  • Cindy

    It says in the article that the bear will not be euthanized, however, the newscaster said it will be euthanized to test for rabies…..what happened to the cub?

    • Joe Borlik

      The bear cub will not be euthanized after officials determined the bear is not a rabies threat.

    • richy

      You can tell if an animal has rabies from the way it acts, Moves and if it is incapable of controlling standing walking and so on. In order to find out they have to take the brain out of any animal. After all the years of rabies research that’s the only way? The bear was acting out I’m sure, Taken away from it’s mother of environment it might have been scared with all the people touching it. IT’S NOT A PUPPY!

  • leetysinger2323

    STUPIDITY..When will “humans” EVER learn a WILS animal will ALWAYS be a WILD ANIMAL..smh..once again the poor animal pays the price for sheer “human” stupidity!

  • FaithC

    Nipping and biting is how they play or maybe he was just scared being passed around to a bunch of people. People need to use some common sense.
    If you want to relieve stress, take a yoga class.

  • dobydog1

    I used to volunteer at a zoo and we took out handable animals. we always told people that anything with a mouth can bite. how many small kids have bitten others? do we kill them to test them for rabies?

  • Kaye Brundage

    This is a wild animal, cub or not. It took 14 people getting bit before they decided it was potentially dangerous…..? Higher education is suppose to improve one’s intelligence. Guess they still lack common sense.

  • lIZ m

    Since this is a wild bear, wouldn’t the handlers have it tested first for rabies? You don’t have to put an animal down to test it for’s a fuc?ing blood test. Dumb people

    • Diana

      No Liz the only way to test for rabies is to look at brain tissue. It’s not a blood test. And if you look at brain material they’re dead.

  • michelle

    Nobody should be holding the bare in captivity ..Thats what happens when you feel like the wild should be kep as a pet…give me a break if we where the ones who where kep in captivity we would be angry and act the same.let oure animals live free in there own in there own environment .there are things that nature can give them that human can’t even the best sciences couldn’t always be perfict to there needs

  • Anna Friederich

    I hate how we just assume animals should behave the way we want to for our own entertainment and “stress relief” when they’re scared and confused. Unfortunate, but it’s not the bear’s fault

  • Tamara Finlay

    how dumb :( the poor animal should be in the wild or if failing that a sanctuary not being used at a petting zoo! its a wild animal for pete’s sake!!! not a goat or sheep. So sad this bear was abused for a humans enjoyment!

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