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Florida child being transported as an accident alert after falling into rhino exhibit at the zoo



MELBOURNE, Fla .– A child was hospitalized on New Year's Day after falling into the Rhino exhibit at Brevard Zoo, officials say.

The Brevard County Fire Department said the child had been taken to the hospital below for trauma alert status. The condition of the child is unknown at this time. Firefighters say that the child's mother was taken to a hospital in Orlando for treatment.

According to officials from the Brevard Zoo, the child was injured on a Wednesday afternoon at a Rhino Encounter a Practical and Educational Experience the white rhinos of Brevard Zoo. During the encounter, participants and rhinos are separated by a series of steel bars. According to witnesses, the child stumbled and fell between two poles, and at the time the snout of at least one of the rhinos had contact with the child.

Zoo employees say the Brevard Zoo has offered this experience since 2009 without incident.

"Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our guests, and our hearts go to the family," said Keith Winsten, Managing Director of Zoo. "Security has always been of paramount importance to us, and we continue these encounters until we have thoroughly reviewed our processes and procedures to ensure that this can not happen again."

No other information has been published at this time.

This is a recent news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Mary Stringini is Digital Reporter for ABC Action News. Follow her on Twitter

@MaryStringini

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