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Ashe County zoo closed after second biting incident in a year

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FLEETWOOD, N.C. (AP) -- The New River Zoo is closed for the second time in less than a year after a coatimundi escaped and bit a five-year-old boy last week.

Zoo owner Keith Stroud says the animal nipped the boy on the knee and was later euthanized so it could be tested for rabies, which came back negative. It had escaped by tunneling under the outer edge of its enclosure.

The zoo was closed in October when a leopard bit a woman on the arm when she tried to pet the animal. The woman suffered severe cuts and needed surgery. The zoo reopened in March.

It opened to the public in 2001 and is home to more than 60 species. Stroud says this is the first time an animal has escaped in the ten years he has had animals there.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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