A two-year-old girl and her mother are recovering in hospital after being attacked by an animal within one of the enclosures at Dublin Zoo.
The little girl was attacked by a Brazilian tapir during one of the zoo’s “regular supervised animal visits,” the Irish Times reports. The mother was also injured when she went to the aid of her young daughter.
The child was brought to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where she underwent surgery. Her mother was brought to the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
Tapirs are similar in shape to a pig, with a short protruding snout and are normally extremely calm and passive animals.
Dublin Zoo issued a statement describing the incident “an unfortunate accident.”
All supervised animal encounters have been suspended in the wake of the attack.
“Management at the zoo has launched an investigation into this regrettable occurrence and is reviewing all of its procedures with respect to supervised animal visits,” a spokeswoman for the zoo said.
“Dublin Zoo would like to underline this was very much an isolated incident. We would also like to emphasize that our immediate concern is the health and wellbeing of the visitors involved in this accident.
“The staff of Dublin Zoo is deeply upset by this incident and we reiterate strongly that their upmost concern lies with the visitors and their speedy recovery."