Child hurt falling into rhino exhibit at Florida zooJanuary 1, 2019
Girl, 2, is airlifted to hospital after falling into RHINO enclosure and ‘coming into contact with southern white rhino’ at Florida zoo
- The girl slipped between the bars at the enclosure at Brevard Zoo near Orlando
- Her mother was also taken to hospital to be treated for her injuries
- The child was participating in a hands-on experience with the rhinos
Officials say a two-year-old girl has been injured after falling into the rhinoceros exhibit at a Florida zoo on Tuesday afternoon.
Brevard County Fire Rescue officials said on Twitter that the girl, whose name has not been released, stumbled and slipped between two steel poles, falling into the enclosure with the animals.
The child was reportedly rescued from the enclosure by her father, who rushed her to the front of the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, where emergency responders airlifted her to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
The girl’s mother was also taken to an Orlando hospital for treatment of injuries.
A girl has been taken to hospital after falling into the rhino enclosure at Brevard Zoo in Florida during a ‘hands-on’ experience
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Zoo spokesman Elliot Zirulnik told WKMG-TV that the child was participating in a hands-on experience with the rhinos and stumbled and fell between two steel poles, landing in the yard with animals.
‘At this point, the snout of at least one of the rhinoceroses made contact with the child,’ the zoo said in a statement.
Zirulnik says the zoo has offered the hands-on experience daily since 2009 without any incidents prior to Tuesday. It is intended for people aged three and older, according to the zoo’s website.
The site says the exhibit is home to four southern white rhinos, two males named Frankie and Howard and two females called Uzuri and Kibibi.
The experience has been suspended pending a review of safety protocols.
‘Our number one concern is the safety and welfare of our guests and our hearts go out to the family,’ zoo executive director Keith Winsten said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials were seen measuring the space between bars at the enclosure after the accident.
Zirulnik says the zoo has offered the hands-on experience daily since 2009 without any incidents prior to Tuesday
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