Bear cub bites 14 students; should it be killed?

Bear Cub Bites 14 College Students In Missouri, Should It Be Killed?

A bear cub named Boo Boo was almost killed for biting college students from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The cub was brought to the private university from a local petting zoo as part of a program designed to help students relax before their final exams. According to a Reutersreport, however, for at least 14 of the students, the experience with Boo Boo the bear cub was less than relaxing. Boo Boo reportedly bit 14 students hard enough to pierce the skin, leading to speculation that the bear cub would need to be killed in order to test it for rabies.

Let’s face it, Boo Boo’s nipping 14 college students isn’t anything like the bears that attacked a Florida woman last year, as reported in an earlier Inquisitr report. Baby animals have made the news a lot lately, including this story about the birth of a rare wild Bactrian camel, but fortunately most of the stories haven’t involved potentially putting a bear cub to death.

Following the incidents, officials of Washington University said that the bear cub would need to be euthanized – killed – to test it for rabies because it did what most wild animals – even those who are accustomed to human contact in many instances – will do when overstimulated by people who are strange to it.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen. According to an AP report, state health officials were able to determine that Boo Boo, the bear cub who bit the college students, was not rabid without killing him. After initially saying that the bear cub would need to be killed to test for rabies, university officials had this to say on Friday night:

“(Boo Boo) The bear cub does not have to go through any additional testing and will be spared. We are very pleased that this unfortunate situation has come to the best possible conclusion for everyone involved — our students, our community, and the bear cub.”

University officials claim that they have had the petting zoo bring in animals such as goats, pigs and sheep for several years, but that this is the first year that the zoo brought in a bear. The officials claim they did not know the zoo was planning on bringing in the bear cub.

While it’s good news that Boo Boo, the bear cub who bit 14 students, will live to delight zoo guests another day (hopefully not by biting them), the situation raises several questions. First, how wise is it to have a wild animal – even a cute bear cub – in a situation with untrained humans handling it? Second, why would university officials think that the bear cub needed to be killed for nipping the students? Couldn’t they just test the students that handled the bear cub for rabies?

What do you think? Should they have even considered the notion that Boo Boo the bear cub would need to be killed for biting 14 college students?

[Image via Shutterstock]

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