Over the past few weeks, we have had several complaints to the Anderson County Animal Control and Sheriff’s Office about our animals. Here is an updated list of our current rescue cases regularly seeing veterinary care and what we do for them.

Please note that every animal has a daily health assessment. Issues are documented, and we have vet consultations for every problem. We do not treat anything on site until we have discussed it with a vet and have several 24-hour vets on call for the Zoo for this reason. We have an on-site small animal quarantine for sick, smaller animals. Once animals are in stable condition and not contagious to other animals, we allow them outside on exhibit. We believe attention and love are essential for any animal’s recovery. 

Our primary attending veterinarian is Dr. Kate’s Veterinary Practice, with consultation from Martin Vet Services, Electric City Animal Clinic, Hartwell Equine Services, University of Georgia, Roper Mountain Research Hospital, University of Michigan, And Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Research Lab.

75% of our animals were rescued, donated, surrendered, or left at the door when we were not home. We try not to segregate animals based on behavior or level of veterinary care. Animals with lasting conditions or behavior problems will remain with us for the rest of their lives. Animals with ongoing conditions are monitored every two months by our attending veterinary, while everyone else gets a complete exam once a year. 

All of our animals are on a routine diet. We use approximately 4000 lbs of grain, 9000 lbs of hay, and 500 lbs of vegetables a month for all animals. The treats we use are hay-based with no added sugar. Therefore, treats do not affect the animal’s regular diet. We use Purina or Mazrui brand formulated foods.

Details about individual animal care can be provided upon request from our veterinary care logs.

Specific Animal Concerns:

Skippy – 

Skippy is a juvenile Red Kangaroo male. He was able to be weaned about two months ago. He currently is the only kangaroo at the Farm and lives with our two emus. We do not plan on keeping Skippy alone long-term and understand that Kangaroos do best in groups. However, as he will be 6 feet tall and over 100 pounds as an adult, we are using this natural transition period after weaning to get him to bond with us before introducing him to females. We have regular training sessions and visits from other animals to keep him entertained and happy. He is on a specialized kangaroo diet, vegetables, and free choice alfalfa hay.

Poseidon – 

Poseidon is a 35-year-old rescue Sulcata tortoise. Poseidon has free roam of the Zoo as he does not like being confined to one area. He does very well with this, and we have had minimal issues. Shelter, food, and water are placed throughout the Zoo for him in his favorite hiding spots. He eats 25lbs of vegetables per week and gets grass whenever he wants.

Michelle – 

Michelle is a 19-year-old rescue Boer goat. She is blind and has arthritis. 

We have routine vet visits every eight weeks to do a quality-of-life assessment. At this time, we do not believe she has a poor quality of life, and she will be allowed to live her life out here as long as we feel she is okay. She currently lives with our cows and not with other goats. Even though goats are herd animals, she does much better with the cows since they are closer to her size. In addition, she is blind and does not know the cows are not other goats. She is on a specialized goat diet with minerals and has free choice hay.

Trigger – 

Trigger is a 12-year-old rescue miniature horse. Like Michelle, we have routine vet visits every eight weeks. Some of his many health issues include severe bowing in his front legs, laminitis, cushings, and heaves. Due to this, he cannot have grass and is on specialty feed. He also receives daily medication. The ideal weight for Trigger is where you can see his hips, but not his ribs. We work very hard to maintain this weight and his quality of life. He is fed Purina Equine Senior and hay pellets.

Bunnies –

All of our current bunnies are rescued and receive individual care. Each bunny has a 4×3 indoor and 6×6 outdoor enclosure to which they are allowed access during the day when the weather is appropriate. The indoor bunny house has air conditioning and heating, air filtration and ventilation, and humidity monitoring. Adult bunnies are extremely territorial if they are not spayed/neutered, which can be very stressful and risky, and housed individually to prevent fighting. Bunnies get regular visits to the vet to treat ongoing health issues. In addition, bunnies get pellet food, loose hay, leafy vegetables, cubed hay, chewing toys, and treats. 

Cows –

We have three dairy breed cows at the Farm: Mary Belle (mother, 4), Annabelle (daughter, 1), and Danny (adopted baby, ~9 months). It is standard for dairy breed cows to be thinner than meat breed cows. Every cow has free choice hay, 6lbs of grain daily, and vitamins. The standard for a Jersey cow is to see the outline of its hips and back while not being able to see the ribs. 

Mary Belle still nurses her older calves. As her body weight is not compromised currently by doing this, and she was distraught when separated, we continue to let her care for them. She enjoys being a mother, and we give her extra grain and higher calories to compensate for this. In addition, Danny is not even her calf, but she took him over while we were bottle feeding him and got him to nurse on her own.

Mary Belle is quite dramatic and will alert us by mooing very loudly at any time, day or night if she runs out of hay or water. She also does not like the rain, so her barn has food and water receptacles in place as well. As this is out-of-sight to the public, we assure guests that there are multiple drinking areas available if the smaller outdoor bowl is empty.

Tomato –

Tomato is a juvenile Emu chick. He ran into a gate and broke his bottom beak twice, once while the first injury was still healing. A vet has looked at this, and we have determined it does not affect his quality of life. He has no problem eating or drinking, and we do not see a need to put him through another procedure to fix it if it is unnecessary.

Lizards – 

We currently have Bearded Dragons and Iguanas at the Zoo. These are also all rescues. Lizards rotate on exhibit and are rarely on display together. This rotation depends on the temperament and health of the animal. All lizards not on display reside in their winter holding, which is monitored and designed for their environment. 

Nubby – 

Nubby is our three-legged cat. A local high school 4-H group rescued her in rough shape. She needed her leg amputated from a suspected car strike and lots of ongoing care. Once a veterinarian treated her initial injuries, we took her in to give her a permanent home. Nubby was quarantined for eight weeks to give her leg time to heal and now appears to get around without much issue. However, she is not a house cat and is very stressed out by being indoors. Nubby is happiest outside with the other cats. 

We are treating her regularly for fleas and working on gaining weight now. Due to her small size, our veterinarian advised us not to give her oral flea and tick medication. Instead, we subsidize with topical treatment as needed.

Pigs – 

We currently have four miniature pigs, two standard pot bellies, an American Guinea hog, and two Kune Kune pigs at the Farm. Our pigs get grain, vitamins, eggs, hay, and watermelons. 

The miniature pigs are full-grown and receive the same out of food as the standard pot bellies. Their small size is breed specific and not due to malnutrition.

Our pigs get vitamins daily for their coats but still have rough and sensitive skin. Skin sensitivity is relatively common in all swine species. Pigs love to scratch on any available abrasive surface, and we regularly brush and rub the pigs as enrichment. As they can sunburn and damage their skin easily, we monitor their skin daily. We also provide plenty of shade, mud holes, swimming pools, and topical solutions when needed. 

Pigs love water and regularly get in their water bowls. They all have mini pools, mud holes, and daily showers. However, they still like to get in their water bowls as well. Waters are changed four times daily to ensure they have access to clean drinking water. 

We divide the pigs into 4-5 separate pens at a given time at the Zoo. Pigs are herd animals, so we like to keep at least two together whenever possible. Herds are divided based on size, behavior issues, age, and alteration status. Sometimes our pigs do fight for their hierarchy in the group. However, this rarely leads to injury of another animal, and we intervene if we see one pig getting picked on more than the others.

Our pigs all get regular vet visits every six months from the vet. Hooves and tusks are trimmed as needed. As this is a very stressful process for our pigs, we only do this if the pig is a danger to our zookeepers or other pigs. 

Most of our pigs are part of our animal rescue program and arrived with many health and behavior problems. Most of the pigs have food aggression, and all have wide mouths with tusks, making it dangerous to feed them by hand. WE ADVISE ALL GUESTS OF THIS WHEN THEY ENTER THE FARM and HAVE SIGNS POSTED NOT TO FEED THE PIGS. 

As this has become a common issue of people ignoring our instructions, we have decided to euthanize our American Guinea Hog and quarantine the other pigs until we can make it where people cannot touch them. 

Update of Farm Rules & Safety Guidelines:

Due to many complaints and guests not following the current guidelines, we have decided to update our Farm rules immediately. The following updates are listed below. 

Current Farm Rules:

Farm Rules:

  1. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Children are anyone under the age of 15. Adult is anyone over the age of 18. 
  • Do not climb on fencing or enter animal enclosures/restricted areas. This includes but is not limited to: animal pens, barns, and gated areas.
  • Follow all safety guidelines posted for animal interactions. This includes but is not limited to: posted safety feeding signage posted “do not feed” signage, and do not enter signage.
  • Do not roughhouse, chase, or intentionally harm one of our animals, grounds, or games/interactions.
  • Do not feed animals food that has not been provided in animal feed cups.
  • No alcohol, weapons, smoking, or pets

By entering the Farm, you give the right to sue for any injury or damage howsoever caused, Ballyhoo Petting Zoo, of Anderson, South Carolina (hereinafter referred to collectively as “The Farm”) and owners, employees, representative officers, and agents (hereinafter referred to collectively as “Farmhands”).

  • I agree as a precondition to my participation in the petting zoo or field trip, birthday party, or special event organized by the Farm and/or its Farmhands, conducted by the Farm or its Farmhands, and in further consideration of the Farm allowing me to do so, to be strictly bound by the terms of my admission.
  • I acknowledge that petting zoo activities involve inherent risks that may cause serious injury to participants.
  • I fully understand the risks and dangers associated with my child’s or personal participation and accept the same entirely at my own risk.
  • I hereby waive any and all claims which I may have against the Farm and/or Farmhands, and release the Farm and its Farmhands from all liability for injury, death, property damage, or any other loss sustained by me or my child (or the child I am representing) as a result of my/their participation in the Farm, due to any cause whatsoever including without limitation, negligence on the part of the Farm or its Farmhands, for any and all legal fees (on a solicitor and his own client basis) or costs which may be incurred in defending any lawsuit or claim I may bring against them.
  • I appreciate that this agreement applies whether the Farm is at fault or not, and it limits the liability of the Employees to the same extent as it limits the liability of The Farm even though The Farmhands are not formal parties to this agreement. I understand further that the Farm in securing execution of This agreement by myself, is acting as agent or trustee on behalf of or for the benefit of The Farmhands who shall to this extent be or be deemed to be parties to this agreement.

I have read and understand this agreement, I understand that this contains a promise not to sue the Farm to the farmhands and release and indemnify same for all claims. 

If you do not follow our safety guidelines, you will be asked to leave without a refund.

AMENDED:

Current Farm Rules Amended – Effective 6/23/2022:

Farm Rules:

  1. An adult must accompany children at all times. Children are anyone under the age of 15. Adult is anyone over the age of 18. Accompanied means within sight distance and normal speaking volume distance of an adult. Parents/Guardians are responsible for the child the entire time they are on the property. Parents/Guardians are expected to correct the child’s behavior to follow our safety guidelines. Children who cannot follow the safety guidelines will be asked to leave, and an accompanying adult can wait with them in the gift shop or picnic area until the rest of their party is finished.
  • Do not climb on fencing or enter animal enclosures/restricted areas. This includes but is not limited to: animal pens, barns, and gated areas. We will no longer allow guests to hold animals or enter pens. We will only allow supervised interactions that are scheduled in advance with a staff member. 
  • Follow all safety guidelines verbally provided or posted for animal interactions. This includes but is not limited to: posted safety feeding signage posted “do not feed” signage, and do not enter signage. Visitors that open pens, enter pens, feed outside food, climb gates, climb fences, lean on fences, or damage enclosures in any way will be asked to leave.
  • DO NOT HAND FEED THE PIGS FOR ANY REASON. This includes all swine in all areas of the Farm, regardless of age, breed, size, or disposition.
  • Do not roughhouse, chase, or intentionally harm one of our animals, grounds, or games/interactions. 
  • Do not feed animals food that has not been provided in animal feed cups. This includes but is not limited to outside fruits or vegetables, snacks, drinks, or animal food. Animals can only eat Mazuri Petting Zoo treats provided in animal feed cups.
  • No alcohol, weapons, smoking, or pets

By entering the Farm, you give the right to sue for any injury or damage howsoever caused, Ballyhoo Petting Zoo, of Anderson, South Carolina (hereinafter referred to collectively as “The Farm”) and owners, employees, representative officers, and agents (hereinafter referred to collectively as “Farmhands”).

  • I agree as a precondition to my participation in the petting zoo or field trip, birthday party, or special event organized by the Farm and/or its Farmhands, conducted by the Farm or its Farmhands, and in further consideration of the Farm allowing me to do so, to be strictly bound by the terms of my admission.
  • I acknowledge that petting zoo activities involve inherent risks that may cause serious injury to participants.
  • I fully understand the risks and dangers associated with my child’s or personal participation and accept them entirely at my own risk.
  • I hereby waive any and all claims which I may have against the Farm and/or Farmhands, and release the Farm and its Farmhands from all liability for injury, death, property damage, or any other loss sustained by me or my child (or the child I am representing) as a result of my/their participation in the Farm, due to any cause whatsoever including without limitation, negligence on the part of the Farm or its Farmhands, for any and all legal fees (on a solicitor and his own client basis) or costs which may be incurred in defending any lawsuit or claim I may bring against them.
  • I appreciate that this agreement applies whether the Farm is at fault or not, and it limits the liability of the Employees to the same extent as it limits the liability of The Farm even though The Farmhands are not formal parties to this agreement. I understand further that the Farm in securing execution of This agreement by myself, is acting as agent or trustee on behalf of or for the benefit of The Farmhands who shall to this extent be or be deemed to be parties to this agreement.

I have read and understand this agreement, I understand that this contains a promise not to sue the Farm to the farmhands and release and indemnify same for all claims. 

Guest, farmhand, and animals, safety is much more important to us than personal enjoyment. If visitors do not follow these guidelines, they will be asked to leave without a refund and banned from returning to the Zoo. There will be no additional warnings for these offenses.

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