2-Year-Old Injured After Falling Into Rhino Exhibit


Brevard Zoo

The rhinoceros enclosure at Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida.

Raquel Perry, Reporter

A 2-year-old girl was injured on Tuesday after she fell into a rhinoceros exhibit at Melbourne’s Brevard Zoo in Florida.

According to the zoo, the girl was participating in a “hands-on educational experience” with the southern white rhinoceros, when she fell backward through the steep poles, which separated guest from the rhino yard, and entered the yard with the animals. According to zoo spokesman Elliot Zirulnik, “the snout of at least one of the rhinoceroses made contact with the child”.

The girl was rescued by her father from the exhibit and quickly taken to the Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando. The child’s mother was also transported to a local hospital for unspecified treatment. In a statement released by the hospital later Tuesday, the girl’s father said she is “doing well” and the mother has been treated and released.

It was never stated which rhinoceros came into contact with the girl, but the rhino involved will not be punished in any way, officials said.