Child Falls Into Jaguar Exhibit at Arkansas Zoo
3-Year-Old in Critical Condition After Falling Into Zoo's Jaguar Exhibit
It's frightening how quickly a fun, educational excursion can transform into a horrifying nightmare. A toddler is in critical condition after falling into one of Little Rock Zoo's large cat habitats on Friday morning, according to the Arkansas Children's Hospital. The 3-year-old, whose identity is being kept private, reportedly sustained injuries from the fall. Thankfully, zoo staff was able to protect him from the jaguars in the enclosure. Staff members acted quickly to lift the child out of the jaguar exhibit, keeping the cats at a safe distance with fire extinguishers. While some reports claim that the accident occurred after the child's grandfather balanced him on a railing above the 10-foot drop into the enclosure, zoo officials and law enforcement have yet to confirm or deny the cause of the fall.
"Zoo staff were able to successfully keep the cats back while other Zoo staff lowered a ladder into the exhibit." -City of Little Rock— Alyssa Raymond (@AlyssaRaymond) October 10, 2014
NEW: @LittleRockZoo was renewed for accreditation w/ Association of Zoos & Aquariums in 2012. Inspections happen twice a year. #developing— Ashley Blackstone Stoltzfus (@ashblackstone) October 10, 2014
Children's hospital says child brought there from the zoo is in Critical Condition. Family asked them not to release anymore information— Shayla Teater (@shaylateater) October 10, 2014
Regardless of the circumstances, we're hopeful that the toddler will make a speedy recovery. The Little Rock Zoo receives comprehensive safety inspections from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums twice annually, which goes to show that it's always important to keep an eye on little ones in any environment, no matter how "safe."