Petting Zoos and Superbugs? Here’s the Scoop

Petting Zoos and Superbugs? Here’s the Scoop

Some animals have multiple kinds of drug resistant bacteria on them, according to this study.

Petting zoos are amazing. Kids get to see some furry fuzzies up close, watch the animals poop, follow them as they eat grass, listen to them make some noise and watch them generally run around.If you’re extra lucky, the animals will get close enough to the wire fence for some petting. Maybe there will be food pellets on hand for the little beasts to eat out of eager hands.

Is it safe? Usually yes. The sheep and other furry friends don’t tend to bite, if you’re nice. But new reports are showing that another danger may be present: superbugs.

Related: Flu Shot Didn’t Work This Year? It Might Have Been the Additive in Your Chips, This Study Says

Researchers based in Israel found about 12 percent of animals tested at petting zoos in one study had at least one strain of multidrug-resistant bacteria in or on them. Some had several different multidrug-resistant strains on them.

It’s true that some bacteria are harmful to animals and not humans. Many drug resistant bacteria first evolve in animals however, before they travel to humans.

Should you avoid petting zoos altogether? The researchers involved in this study didn’t go that far in their assessment, but some basic precautions could help ensure you stay healthy. They recommend that establishments make sure eating and drinking areas are located away from animal petting zones. And always make sure you wash your hands vigorously with soap after touching the animals. Farmer knows best.

Facebook Comments