WASHINGTON - The Kids' Farm exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Zoo has been temporarily closed after E. coli was discovered in several of the animals.
The animals have been quarantined and Zoo officials say no staff members have been affected. Officials say no animals are showing any signs of disease.
Zoo veterinarians detected the presence of the E. coli bacteria in goats during a routine screening process on February 18. The goats were separated from animals and visitors and more tests were performed. As of February 26, four goats and one cow were tested positive.
The Kids' Farm was immediately quarantined and all farm animals were treated, officials say.
"As most people know, E. coli is everywhere in our environment," said Brandie Smith, associate director of animal care sciences, in a statement released online. "Because it is so common, we routinely test our animals. It's unfortunate that we have to close the Kids' Farm temporarily, but we're taking the right preventative measures for our guests, staff and the animals."
Officials say when they receive three consecutive weeks of negative test results, the team will start the planning for lifting the quarantine and reopening the Kids' Farm.