Girl, 2, airlifted to hospital after falling into rhino enclosure at Florida zoo

Samuel Osborne

A child has been injured after falling into a rhino exhibit in a zoo in Florida.

The two-year-old had to be taken to hospital by helicopter from Brevard Zoo in Melbourne.

Firefighters said the child’s mother was also taken to hospital for treatment.

In a statement, the zoo said the child stumbled and fell between two metal poles separating the family from the zoo’s white rhinoceroses during a hands-on experience.

“At this point, the snout of at least one of the rhinoceroses made contact with the child,” the zoo said.

The child’s condition is unknown, the statement added.

“Our number one concern is the safety and welfare of our guests and our hearts go out to the family” said Keith Winsten, the zoo’s executive director.

“Safety has always been of paramount importance to us and we are suspending these encounters until we have thoroughly reviewed our processes and procedures to ensure this cannot happen again.”

The zoo has four southern white rhinos.

It comes after a zoo intern was mauled to death by a lion that had escaped from a locked pen in North Carolina.

Alexandra Black, 22, was attacked on Sunday while cleaning an animal enclosure with other staff members at the Conservators Center near Burlington.

Police said the lion was shot and killed after several attempts to sedate it with a tranquilliser failed.