Goat dies after choking on balloon pieces at North Georgia State Fair

The North Georgia State Fair gets underway with rides, shows, music and more.

Credit: Photo: From Pixabay/For the AJC

Credit: Photo: From Pixabay/For the AJC

The North Georgia State Fair gets underway with rides, shows, music and more.

The North Georgia State Fair has only been in Cobb County for less than a week, but sad news has come out of the popular attraction.

The fair said Sunday that a goat named Oswald died after choking on pieces of a balloon it ate. The balloon had been discarded on the ground near its pen.

The goat and other animals in the fair’s petting barn are pets of “local friends” of the fair, it said on its Facebook page.

Fair organizers said each animal is checked over by a veterinarian before they are cleared to be petted by visitors.

“Please help us protect their health and safety by refraining from feeding them anything other than the feed sold inside the barn,” the fair said. “We cannot avoid these issues without cooperation from our patrons. Our local friends of the fair love and cherish these animals; please help us keep them safe.”

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The fair has two sections that allow customers to check out animals: Eudora Farms Exotic Petting Zoo and the North Georgia Animals Petting Barn.

Besides goats, the petting barn features cows, rabbits, llamas and chickens. The exotic zoo includes a 14-foot giraffe, wallaby, zebra, lemur and a chance to ride a camel.

Hey Fair fans, we are all mourning the loss of Oswald the goat that passed away earlier tonight. Oswald choked on pieces...

Posted by North Georgia State Fair on Sunday, September 22, 2019

Julie McPeake, spokeswoman with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, said the state agency has not received a complaint from the North Georgia State Fair's governing body or a veterinarian about Oswald's death. She said the state department does not typically monitor the safety and health of the petting zoo animals. In a case like this, she said the state department would only get involved to make sure an animal carcass was disposed of properly, or to ensure any illnesses or diseases were not allowed to spread to other species.

The 87th annual fair runs through Sunday, Sept. 29 at Jim Miller Park in Marietta. Fair hours are 4-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Fridays, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Jim Miller Park is at 2245 Callaway Road SW in Marietta. For more information, visit the North Georgia State Fair website or call (770) 528-8989.

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