Five-year-old girl killed by leaping sturgeon during family boat trip

Roshina Jowaheer

A five-year-old girl was killed by a leaping sturgeon while a family was boating on a river in Florida.

Little Jayln Rippy was with her family on the Suwannee River on Thursday evening when the jumping fish injured the girl, her mother and nine-year-old brother, Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission said.

According to Reuters, the family was airlifted to hospital after the incident but Jayln did not survive.

Her mother Tanya and brother Trevor will need facial reconstruction surgery, Sky News reports.

Wildlife officials have warned people to be aware that sturgeons can grow up to 8ft long and weigh up to 200 pounds.

A similar incident happened in another part of Florida on Friday, which saw two adults struck by a leaping sturgeon while in a boat on the Santa Fe River.

According to ITV News, Fish and Wildlife Commission spokeswoman Karen Parker said it was unusual for sturgeons to strike boaters in Florida on consecutive days.

The Rippy family has set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of the funeral and medical costs.

It reads: "The Rippy family was involved in an accident on Thursday, July 2, 2015 where a sturgeon collided with their boat. Their precious baby Jayln became an angel early July 3, 2015.

"Tanya and Trevor will both have to see specialist and face possible surgeries. This family will also face the cost of the funeral. Please donate what you can and continue to keep them in your prayers more than everything!"

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