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Thursday 29 September 2016

Probe at Dublin Zoo after child climbs into rhino habitat

Jane O'Faherty

Published 01/08/2016 | 02:30

A photo showing a child in the zoo’s rhino enclosure
A photo showing a child in the zoo’s rhino enclosure

Dublin Zoo is investigating after photos emerged of a little boy inside the rhino enclosure.

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It's believed the young boy was lowered into the rhinoceros enclosure, with an accompanying adult holding his hand at all times after he got over the fence. It's understood the incident occurred on Friday afternoon.

Dublin Zoo says it is investigating how the boy came to be so close to the rhino, a species known for its unpredictable nature.

A spokesperson for Dublin Zoo said an investigation had been launched following the incident.

"The matter is being taken care of internally by Dublin Zoo," she said. "It's completely against Dublin Zoo's health and safety rules but it is being looked into at the moment."

Gillian Bird, of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), said the organisation "totally and utterly condemned" the action taken by the visitors.

"Generally, it's just shocking that an adult could put a child in harm's way like this," she said.

Ms Bird added that rhinos can be unpredictable animals, but stressed that other creatures in captivity can also be dangerous to curious visitors.

"Even if the animal approaches the child out of curiosity, it could end up hurting a person unintentionally."

But Ms Bird praised Dublin Zoo, adding that keepers "care greatly for each animal".

Irish Independent

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