I’ve said it once, and I am sure I will say it many many more times, but wild animals DO NOT belong in petting zoos. This story about a two-month-old bear cub, Boo Boo, simply proves that although wildlife may look a whole lot like your snuggly teddy bear, they have teeth and they will bite you.

In preparation for a long week of finals, Washington University administration invited a group of animals from a local petting zoo onto campus as a way to help students de-stress in between lengthy stretches of studying. Boo Boo was among one of the animals that was brought for student entertainment. As a small, wild bear cub, Boo Boo obviously did not understand that using people as a teething toy is not socially acceptable, and after nibbling on 14 students (bites that only just broke the skin), health officials deemed the tiny bear a rabies threat and recommended he be put down.

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Thankfully, the Missouri Department of Conservation was able to trace Boo Boo’s whereabouts to rule out the possibility of him being a rabies carrier and he was saved from being put to death.

At an institution of higher learning as well reputed at Wash-U, you would think someone would have had the sense to not commission a wild animal-themed study break, if only to ensure that all students maintained the fingers necessary to take finals.

Image Source:  Mary Gail Richardson/Reuters 

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