One of the horses that pulls carriages in downtown St. Louis is in quarantine after eating the tip of a woman's finger Friday night.
St. Louis Health Department director Pam Walker says while the risk of transmitting rabies is "really low," the St. Louis Carriage Co. horse will be quarantined at a stable downtown for ten days.
"We're going to handle this like any other bite," Walker tells Daily RFT.
The woman, who is not from St. Louis, was petting the horse when "it bit the tip of her finger off," Walker says. The health department is waiting on the health records from Saint Louis University Hospital and could not specify the size of chunk bitten off.
Aside from a sudden taste for tourist fingertips, the horse shows no neurological symptoms, and it has a record of vaccinations, Walker says. She has coordinated with the state and local public health department to decide what happens to the horse.
Since January, only fourteen horses have been diagnosed with rabies, and those horses usually live in rural pastures, Walker says.
Walker started a campaign against the carriage horses this summer when she spotted a horse having a heat stroke in July. Now, companies can't offer horse-and-carriage rides when heat index is above 100 degrees.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.