The Town of Comox’s Hands on Farm Petting Zoo re-opened to the public Friday afternoon (July 26).
The petting zoo, located at Filberg Park, was closed July 23, due to the confirmed presence of ringworm [a fungal infection] in ‘Pepper’ the alpine goat.
A veterinarian has now concluded examination of the remaining animals, giving them a clean bill of health.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that develops on the top layer of skin. Farm visitors can reduce potential exposure to possible farm and animal diseases by thoroughly washing their hands after they visit. The Hands on Farm provides a wash station and gel hand sanitizer stations to help reduce this risk.
During the closure, Hands on Farm staff carried out a thorough cleaning of the barn as per the Centre for Disease Control recommendations. Farm staff will continue twice-daily inspections of the animals and schedule a precautionary inspection by a veterinarian in two weeks.
Ted Hagmeier of Comox Recreation confirmed neither Pepper, nor Cosmo the cow will be returning to the petting zoo this year.
Cosmo was the first animal to contract the fungus, last month. The farm was closed on June 27, due to Cosmo’s infection.
Richard Kanigan, chief administrative officer for the Town of Comox, said there is still a chance they could return at some point.
“If we can get a clean bill of health on Pepper, as well as Cosmo at some point, I don’t think we are going to ban them totally.”