TUCSON, Ariz. — A big attraction and petting zoo off of I-10 is planning on opening this Friday. The Owner of the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch says she closed in compliance with the governors guidance and she’s opening in compliance with the governors guidance for retail stores.
The Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch is a three generation family owned business. They started off I-10 in 1999.
“With a folding table and a tent,” said Owner Danna Cogburn-Barrett.
She says it costs thousands of dollars a month to feed their animals. Forced closure might have put them out of business if it wasn’t for their adopt a critter program.
“That has really really kept us alive over the last month,” she said.
Now the petting zoo plans to open Friday.
Cogburn-Barrett says they qualify as retail and aren’t breaking any rules under the governors orders allowing retail to open on the 8th.
"We do consider ourselves retail, that’s what we fall under for tax purposes. I pay taxes under retail. We have a gift shop. A lot of service based businesses stayed open."
She says 4 acres of property allows for plenty of room for social distance.
"We are basically 90% all outdoor even the part indoors is basically under a big open tent so lots of ventilation."
Signs remind people to keep an ostrich length apart and to use hand sanitizer stations.
"It'll be like anything else when you go out and touch something just don’t touch your face your eyes your nose or your mouth."
Cogburn-Barrett says she’s sure her opening will ruffle a few feathers, but she says people need to make their own choices.
"I respect their opinion, and that is totally their choice, so if they disagree all they have to do is stay home and it won’t effect them."
The Pinal County Sheriff did not answer our question if the ranch would be in compliance opening on Friday, but he has already stated he will not be enforcing stay at home orders with tickets or fines.
A Pinal County Spokesperson did not give a definitive answer to the question either, but responded with their understanding of the governor's orders which reads in part: “The latest executive order 2020-33 allows non-essential businesses to partial open with guidance”