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More on the Meerkat Murders

Information on the incident given to volunteers:

Good morning Minnesota Zoo Volunteers,

On Wednesday afternoon, August 2, a nine-year old girl was bit by a
meerkat. Because of the potential for rabies, the Zoo was required to
euthanize the troop of meerkats and test for rabies (all five animals
tested negative for rabies). The reason we had to euthanize all five
animals that were on exhibit at the time of the incident is because we
had no way of knowing which meerkat bit the girl.

The Zoo is saddened by this incident. When a person at the Zoo is bit
by an animal that has the potential to carry rabies, the Zoo has two
options: 1. The person who is bit goes through the rabies vaccination
series; or 2. If they are not able or willing to take the series, the
Department of Public Health then mandates that the Zoo must euthanize
the animal and test for rabies. The only way to test for rabies is via
necropsy in the brain.

The outdoor Meerkat exhibit will be temporarily closed as modifications
are made to the exhibit. The remaining four male meerkats that have
been on display in the Aardvark Exhibit will continue to be exhibited
indoors until modifications on the outdoor Meerkat Exhibit are complete.

Please note that this story is being picked up by virtually every media
outlet. As of Friday morning, all of the stories have shown the Zoo in
a favorable light. If you are asked questions about this unfortunate
incident, please keep your answers and dialogue as simple as possible
in accordance with the facts stated above. Do not speculate about
details. Do not offer your personal opinion about the situation.

Info on rabies HERE

Good info on diagnosis, treatment & prevention HERE

Comments I've seen in my journal, friends journals, and comments to articles all seem to be overwhelmingly of the belief that the parents are bad parents who didn't watch their kid and that they should have had the vaccine done.

I remember when I was a kid when they would talk about rabies shots it was twenty very painful shots in the stomach. Now it is 6 simple shots in the arm over a 4 week period. Is that really a lot if it means not having to kill five animals that are almost certainly not infected? The news have not released the family's name. Probably for the best because I'm not hearing anyone say that they made the right decision when they decided to kill 5 innocent animals.

I still firmly believe that these parents should be permanently banned from the zoo and that they should have to pay for the necropsies and the replacement cost of 5 meerkats.




( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
Jesus, you mean you DON'T have to get twenty painful shots to the stomach anymore? Okay, any shreds of understanding I might have had for those not wanting to give the kid the shots are gone.

And yes, I agree with the overwhelming opinion that the parents should be responsible for letting their kid crawl that far over barriers to try to touch wild animals.
Aug. 5th, 2006 01:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, back in the day the shots were a MUCH bigger ordeal.
My current theory is that the parents didn't let the kid in on the decision, because what kind of a kid would say "Yes, kill the meerkats."
Aug. 5th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
No kidding! I hadn't thought of that.

I didn't know they'd made the shots more pleasant.
Aug. 5th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC)
My mother raise an interesting insight. She believes that the parents may have helped the kid, or some one helped w/ the barrier, b/c of the size a 9 yr old usually is. but, w/o knowing for sure she can't base her opinion on anything.
Aug. 5th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
Oh, good point. Maybe we should help the parents over the barrier so they can swim with the cute little tiger kitty cats. It's in a zoo so it must be tame, right?
Aug. 5th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
All of my parenting advice in a nutshell
See, any kid who thought that she could get away with going past the barrier at the zoo can probably also get away with "But I don't waaaaaaaant to have a shot!"
Kids are kids. Several nine year olds probably ponder that they are physically capable of defeating all sorts of barricades at the zoo, none attempt it because *gosh* mommy would be pissed.
Aug. 5th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
Re: All of my parenting advice in a nutshell
What? You mean you didn't just throw Squeaky into the different cages at the zoo when she was a kid? Survival of the fittest and all...
Aug. 5th, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
Re: All of my parenting advice in a nutshell
Nope! I'm saving that for her eighteenth birthday. Then, no one can blame it on bad parenting.
Aug. 5th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC)
OK, I know that Doctors can force underage individuals to undergo mecial procedures without the parents concent (there has been a lot of arguing about this recently (people going on the lam with there kids because they did not think what the Dr. wanted to do was right, but they can legaly force it)).

Why not in this case?

And the fact she will be known as the animal killer from now on will not help.

Sure, if there was a metical reason fro her not to, I can understand...but if it was just because of discomfort or complaint...no excuse.

I do feel for her and her family when there names get released (as there is probably a police report, so the parents names are out there somewhere anyways).

Just torked.

Zoo is keeping things very favorable...there press department is doing a great job.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 7th, 2006 11:20 pm (UTC)
Entitlement Psychosis- you've hit it.

Poor meerkats. Are meerkats able to live with rabies or something? Dogs just get isolated for a week and looked at to see if they show signs of rabies.
Aug. 5th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
"I still firmly believe that these parents should be permanently banned from the zoo and that they should have to pay for the necropsies and the replacement cost of 5 meerkats."

I'd sign that petition.
Aug. 6th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
This just makes me sad for the animals. I feel nothing for that stupid family.

*heavy sigh* :(
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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