Toddler Injured After Falling into Rhino Exhibit at Melbourne Zoo


A 2-year-old girl has been injured after falling into the rhinoceros exhibit at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne.

Brevard County Fire Rescue officials said the girl was taken to an Orlando hospital for treatment Tuesday afternoon. Her mother was also taken to a hospital for treatment.

The zoo’s executive director said they don’t believe the rhino’s horn touched the child. The extent of the child’s injuries is not clear.

She fell through the steel poles that separate guests from rhinos during a hands-on experience.

The zoo has offered the hands-on experience daily since 2009 without any incidents prior to Tuesday.

Zoos go to great lengths to protect both animals and visitors by making sure exhibits are enclosed properly and cages are adequately maintained. Our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton strongly urge parents and caretakers to closely observe children during every aspect of a zoo visit as defects can occur at any time, which can result in an animal or child coming into contact with one another and a serious injury occurring.

In Florida, premises liability laws allow injury victims to hold a property owner responsible for injuries that occur due to defects on the property. If the owners of the zoo knew, or reasonably should have known, about a hazard on the property, such as a cracked sidewalk, dangerous zoo ride, or unsafe animal enclosure, but did not take the necessary steps to repair it, the zoo could be liable for visitor injuries.

After a zoo injury occurs, it is important to first seek medical treatment and then call our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton. If your injury involved animal attacks or a property hazard, you can likely hold the zoo responsible for your injuries. We can help you negotiate a settlement or take your case to court to recover fair compensation for damages. For a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist with your premises liability claim, call us at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.

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