E.Coli Scares At Petting Zoos

No one ever said state fairs were the healthiest of places -- what with corn dogs and deep fried Twinkies. But forget the Midway. At the fair's petting zoos, Handi Wipes are flying like confetti at a ticker tape parade, CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan reports.

No wonder.

After a 2-year-old's petting party, she found herself in intensive care with kidney failure.

"This was a perfectly healthy child before she went to that petting zoo,"


The culprit: E.coli –- a bacteria at the less friendly end of the petting spectrum.

"We could have brought it home on our shoes," Liz Gray, Aiden's mother, explains. "It might be that the goats jumped up on them. We probably brought it home on their clothes."

Hundreds of others have gotten sick too. Outbreaks, some fear, are putting a fair favorite in jeopardy.

Perhaps it is, as one person put it, another example of "life will kill you," Cowan says. Come on, a petting zoo, dangerous? Well, it turns out there is just enough of a risk that forced health officials in North Carolina and elsewhere to make changes in a long standing tradition."

"You've seen the goat free for alls? That's a thing of the past,"


In Raleigh, a state law now mandates sheep and goats be separated from the children.