By Jeff Sanchez
A wolf was euthanized after biting 4-year-old patron in a zoo.
A trip to the zoo should be a fun learning experience for kids, despite the argument that zoos should be abolished and animals, not to mention wild and endangered ones, shouldn’t be kept in captivity in the first place.
Well, a family, along with a batch of visitors, learned just how wrong it is for animals to be held captive – especially when you stick your fingers through a chain-link fence separating onlookers from wildlife that’s not really accustomed to human interaction.
It was at the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh, Wisconsin where a four-year-old child was bitten by a wolf after he put his fingers through the chain fence housing a group of wild animals.
Slipping by zoo officials and going through an off-limits area after a Menominee Park Zoo employee inadvertently left a gate open, some visitors managed to get up close and personal to the wolves, so much so that the child, who was also part of the rogue guests, got an experience that he will never soon forget. Reportedly, a 12-year-old wolf named Rebel, who happens to be the alpha of his four-sibling pack, nipped his hand – probably curious of their new four-year-old visitor.
The child was treated after suffering minor puncture wounds. The wolf who bit him, however, wasn’t so lucky after the Division of Public Health (DPH) got in on the mess.
According to the DPH, Rebel is a rabies threat because rabies vaccine hasn’t been proven effective to wolves yet. According to Spencer Wilhelm, operations manager for the Wolf Conservation Center, vaccines for wolves hasn’t been studied yet due to the fact that nobody wants to kill wolves and fulfill the requisite number needed for research.
The Division of Public Health then gave the child’s parents two options – either give their child preventive rabies shots or decline and just have Rebel euthanized and be tested for rabies. They chose the latter. And although the unfortunate wolf ended up negative for any semblance of rabies, it was too late.
Was it right to euthanize Rebel?
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