Toddler Injured In Tapir Attack At Dublin Zoo

tapirA two year old toddler is in a serious condition in hospital, after being injured by a tapir at Dublin Zoo.

The child was in the animal’s enclosure with her mother, as part of a supervised visit with Dublin Zoo staff. Tapirs are nomally docile creatures, but it’s believed that the animal became agitated, and attacked the toddler. causing injuries to her arm and stomach.

She was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery last night in Temple Street. Her mother was also hurt as she tried to protect her daughter, but her injuries are not said to be serious.

A spokesperson for Dublin Zoo has said that the incident was “an unfortunate accident”, and that it’s very rare for a tapir to show such aggression. The spokesperson said, “The staff of Dublin Zoo are deeply upset by this incident and their utmost concern lies with the visitors and their speedy recovery.”

Tapirs are about the size of a pig, and have a  distinctive snout. They do not have a history of attacking humans, and the only documented serious injury is of a keeper loosing an arm due to a tapir attack in Oklahoma in 1998.

The tapir in question at Dublin Zoo had recently given birth, and it is believed that the young tapir was also in the enclosure at the time, possibly causing the mother anxiety.

  1. August 11th, 2013

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