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Rhinos won't be punished at Brevard Zoo Rhino Encounters exhibit where girl fell into enclosure

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-02 12:11:07-05

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Officials at a Florida zoo where a toddler stumbled into a rhinoceros exhibit say the welfare of the animals was never compromised and the rhinos won't be punished in any way.

The Brevard Zoo said in a statement on Wednesday that the Rhino Encounters exhibit, as well as other exhibits involving "premium" animal experiences, has been suspended while zoo officials review safety protocol.

The 2-year-old girl was taken to a hospital for treatment Tuesday afternoon after she stumbled through steel poles separating the rhinos and spectators.

Officials at the zoo on Florida's Space Coast say a rhino's snout touched the girl before she was retrieved in a matter of seconds.

The girl's condition is unknown.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating.