Rhino seriously injures zookeeper at Jacksonville Zoo

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By David K. Li

A rhino seriously injured one of its zookeepers during a training session in Jacksonville on Tuesday, officials told NBC affiliate WTLV.

The incident involving Archie, a male Southern white rhinoceros, happened at about 9:40 a.m. ET, according to a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Zoo.

The female zookeeper was awake and aware as she was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, Jacksonville fire spokeswoman Tom Francis told WTLV. Her condition wasn’t immediately known.

Archie, who is 50 and has been at the Jacksonville Zoo since 1975, was still out on display Tuesday with the zoo’s two other rhinos.

“Initial reports indicate that the animal was never out of its enclosure and public safety was never compromised during this incident,” according to a statement by Karen Parker, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which will investigate.

The incident happen comes just seven weeks a 2-year-old girl was injured in January after falling into a rhino enclosure at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, about 170 miles south of Jacksonville.

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