The AZA -accredited Wildlife World Zoo , which features , 1,400 animals "upclose and personal" , had several inspectionsin 1998 and 1999 , where USDA inspectors found numerous deaths , animals in desperate need of veterinary care, and filthy inclosures. The emaciated carcass of an antolope who had died at least 36 hours earlier was discovered in a pasture. A llama without shelter from the sun died of heat stroke. Three black bucks and an emaciated zebra , frightened by storms and unable to escape to safety , died from running into fences.
Most small roadside zoo's are kept in even poorer conditions. Since the costs of owning and keeping the animals is so high , their care is oftly not inportant , and not taken care off. Shade , fresh water , fresh food , proper fencing , proper housing , and safety is not provided for these animals , who suffer neglect , abuse , and exploitation.
Health experts warn that roadside petting zoos are notorious for infecting children with potentionally lethal bacteria. In September and October of 2000 , as many as 62 children became infected with e-coli after visiting a petting zoo in Washington state. In August 2000 health officals suspected that contact with petting zoo animals at the Medina county fair in northwestern Ohio , sickened 34 people with e-coli. In 1999 approximently 160 people came down with intestional illness after touching petting zoo animals at the Western fair , Near London , Ontario.