Girl, 2, and mother attacked by tapir at Dublin Zoo

Toddler suffered stomach and arm injuries

Updated: 
Dublin zoo faces prosecution after girl, 2, and mother attacked by tapir


Dublin Zoo is facing criminal proceedings after a two-year-old girl and her mother were attacked by a tapir.

The incident happened during a supervised "close encounter" in the Brazilian tapir enclosure in August 2013.

The zoo, which is one of Ireland's most popular visitor attractions, is accused of ignoring health risk assessment. The Zoological Society of Ireland is now being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The little girl, who suffered stomach and arm injuries, had to receive treatment from surgeons at Temple Street Children's Hospital, reports the Independent.

Her mother also required medical attention.

HSA inspector Maireád Wall told Judge O'Neill that eight people, four children and four adults, had been in the enclosure when the animal became agitated before it attacked the woman and her daughter.

According to the Irish Times, a risk assessment had been carried out in 2006 stating that members of the public were not to have access to areas in the tapir exhibition.

The case is being dealt with in he district court which, on conviction, can impose a maximum €5,000 fine.

The Zoological Society of Ireland will be expected to indicate how it will plead when the case resumes in October.

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