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Rhinos won’t be punished at zoo where girl fell into exhibit

MELBOURNE, Fla. — 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 Wednesday that the Rhino Encounters exhibit and other exhibits involving “premium” animal experiences have been suspended while zoo officials review safety protocol.

The 2-year-old girl was taken to a hospital for treatment Tuesday 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 father said in a statement released Wednesday by the hospital to local media that his daughter “is doing well.”

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