BREVARD COUNTY., Fla. - A video that allegedly shows a former petting zoo employee tossing a goat is circulating on social media.
“I couldn’t really believe it. I looked around at the other parents like, ‘Did you just see that?’ Everybody’s eyes got really big,” said Natalie Harris, who recorded the video.
Harris says she was on a kindergarten field trip with her daughter when she just happened to start recording right as an employee tossed a goat into its pen. The animal can be seen rolling after it hits the ground.
“I had to explain to my daughter that that’s not right treatment for an animal to be thrown like that,” Harris said.
Harris says it happened around a year ago at the Obloy Family Ranch in Merritt Island but she just recently posted the clip to social media.
“It was hard for them to see,” said Michelle Mulak, a spokesperson for Obloy Family Ranch.
The owners of the ranch say as soon as the video surfaced, the employee was fired. Brevard County officials say the woman was not criminally charged since the goat wasn’t injured; however, she was issued a civil citation.
“They have an absolute zero-tolerance policy for the mistreatment of animals. This is their livelihood,” Mulak said.
The Obloy Family Ranch hosts weddings, offers horse rides, and runs the petting zoo. All kinds of animals are living on the property. They say they’re making changes so this doesn’t happen again.
“Moving forward, they’re going to install cameras. They’re going to be working on further certifying some of their employees. Really working with them to make sure they understand what’s expected of them and what’s never okay,” Mulak explained.
The family’s business is in the middle of a social media firestorm. They say the video does not represent how they operate.
“We would invite anyone who has any questions about how the animals are treated here to come out and see for themselves,” Mulak said.