Safety - Prevention

Policy on the Presentation of Animals
Approved by the AZA Board of Directors 22 July 2008
Although not a member of the The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), because their group is dedicated to excellence in animal care and welfare, conservation, education, research, and the presentation of animals in ways that inspire respect for wildlife and nature, we have elected to follow their lead.
We aim to ensure that the STEM Bunnies are always be presented to the public in adherence to the following AZA core principles:
1.Animal and human health, safety, and welfare are never compromised.
2.Education and a meaningful conservation message are integral components of the presentation.
3.The individual animals involved are consistently maintained in a manner that meets their social, physical, behavioral, and nutritional needs. 

Our rabbits are domestic, but ALL animals and environments are potentially contaminated with pathogens.  Here are some specific ways to help prevent the spread of germs, which will help keep you and our sweet bunnies healthy. 

As you sign in, you will receive a set of safety rules that you must agree to before you enter (Available in several languages).  You'll FAIL if you don't FOLLOW our "F Rules"  :


  • Wash your hands before you visit  to keep our bunnies safe.
    Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
     Hand washing should be supervised in young children. Washing with Soap and Water
  • Wash your hands before you do anything else to help keep yourself safe.  Help teach kids this important health skill.
Food, drink, and items that promote hand-to-mouth contact (e.g., pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups) are not permitted in animal contact areas.  Also leave your strollers, stuffed animals, balloons, toys etc. outside of the animal area.  

Wear long sleeves, long pants and closed shoes (no flip-flops or sandals or going barefoot)

Bunnies have sharp nails and they are active movers.  Protect your skin.

4) FACE   No Kissing  or Face Nuzzles
Yes we know the bunnies are adorable and your kids want to snuggle and kiss the bunnies.  They will want to bring them close to their face.  But it is very important to keep children's faces and mouths away from the rabbit to prevent nips, scratches and germs spreading

5)  FIVE RULE   (5 Years and older pet with 5 Fingers) Children under age five years old may pet a bunny with only two fingers with parent approval and supervision.  Instruct the child to keep hands away from the bunny's mouth and face.  Never put fingers into a cage.  We have  separated our rabbits into groups: some are fun to only WATCH, some are to PET and some are to HOLD. 

Report any scratches, cuts or nips immediately.  Our bunnies like to play and hop and interact with people.  Even though we have a really good track record with animal safety, there is always a chance that a guest will get a small cut or scratch. Tell us right away and we'd be pleased to show you how to clean it correctly and to provide a bandage.  We also need to document any negative contact to ensure that only the most friendly bunnies are able to interact with the public.  We will give you a take-home sheet with information about what health concerns to look for in the coming days and next steps if you are concerned.  Our rabbit handlers can sense when a rabbit is getting tired or frustrated, so we will help to rotate out the animals to make the play date a more pleasant time for you and our bunnies.

No child may interact with the rabbits unless a parent/guardian is present or there is a signed permission slip. Stay with all your children at all times and be alert!  No child may be left unattended.  Plan to be next to your child the entire time with at least one hand free.
Feel free to take pictures, but we need you to be able to quickly intervene on behalf of the child or on behalf of the bunny.  If you need to leave, even momentarily, you must take your children with you.  Children must walk calmly rather than waving their arms or kicking their feet, etc. because this can scare all the rabbits.  Do not let them climb on any fencing or stick their fingers through the holes -- your fingers may look like a yummy treat.
  No one who is being mean, screaming, poking an animal or not following our safety rules will be asked to leave immediately (without a refund if any fee was paid).

*Service Dogs  Although we would like to be able to accommodate a service dog, we simply cannot allow ANY animals into the area with the bunnies.  Let's talk and together let's work to find a better, safer way to accommodate your needs.
* Immuno-compromised
Some people are more likely than others to get diseases from animals. A person's age and health status may affect their immune system, increasing his or her chances of getting diseases from animals. However, immuno-compromised persons and parents of young children generally do not need to give up common household pets and may visit with domestic animals, including rabbits. Certain precautions are recommended to decrease the risk of disease transmission. The link provides some simple safety tips for protecting people who may be at increased risk for infectious disease