Toddler taken to hospital after falling in rhinoceros exhibit at Florida zoo

Rhinoceros (Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, Fla. — A young girl was injured when she fell into a rhinoceros exhibit at a Florida zoo, WFTV reports.

The accident happened Tuesday afternoon at the Brevard Zoo.

Firefighters told WFTV the girl, who is about 2 years old, was taken to a hospital under a trauma alert status.

The child’s mother was also taken to a hospital to be treated for a non-life-threatening arm injury.

The Brevard Zoo released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“Early this afternoon, during a Rhino Encounter, a hands-on, educational experience with Brevard Zoo’s white rhinoceroses, a young guest entered the rhinoceros yard and was injured. The family was transported to a local hospital by ambulance. The condition of the child is unknown at this time.

“During the encounter, participants and the rhinoceroses are separated by a series of steel poles. According to witnesses, the child stumbled and fell in between two of the poles and at this point, the snout of at least one of rhinoceroses made contact with the child. The Zoo has offered this experience daily without incident since 2009.”

“Our number one concern is the safety and welfare of our guests and our hearts go out to the family,” said Keith Winsten, the zoo’s executive director. “Safety has always been of paramount importance to us and we are suspending these encounters until we have thoroughly reviewed our processes and procedures to ensure this cannot happen again.”

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