Child falls into rhino enclosure at Florida Zoo, condition unknown after making contact with rhino’s snout

A child who stumbled into an enclosure for rhinoceros at a Florida Zoo was taken to hospital after getting injured following contact with the snout of one of the animals.

The incident happened at Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida on January 1st during a regular event the zoo hosts called Rhino Encounter.

The hands-on educational experience is used to teach zoo guests about rhinoceroses. Steel posts separate the rhinos from humans during the encounter. Witnesses said the child stumbled and fell in between two of the polls.

At this point, the snout of at least one of the rhinoceroses made contact with the child,” said Elliot Zirulnik, communications manager for the zoo in a statement.

The zoo has been offering the Rhino Encounter experience 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.”

Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world.

The Brevard County Fire Rescue were called to the scene and transported the child to a pediatric hospital and the mother was ground transported to an Orlando hospital for treatment.

 

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