JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami) – A zookeeper was injured Tuesday morning by a rhino at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Seeing COVID Rates 5 Times Higher Than Summer Delta Surge
The zookeeper was hurt during a “routine training session shortly after 9 a.m.,” according to the zoo’s executive director Tony Vecchio. He added that she was injured by the rhino’s horn.
“We train the animals here to do lots of different things, mostly for medical exams so that when we do have a medical exam it’s not stressful for them,” said Vecchio. “We teach them to open their mouth so we can do dental exams, we teach them to lift up their feet so we can examine how their hooves are doing, their feet, foot pads. We also train them to allow us to take blood. The training is pretty hands on although there’s always a safety barrier between the keeper and the animal.”
An ambulance took the zookeeper, who was awake, alert, and talking to the hospital.READ MORE: Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick Sworn Into Congress
The rhino has never had an incident at the zoo before.
“He’s 50 years old. He’s Archie, the name of the rhino involved, I think everybody who is a zoo fan knows Archie. He’s been here a long time and is a well-known character here at the zoo,” said Vecchio.
Vecchio stressed that Archie remained in his enclosure the entire time and the public was never in any danger.MORE NEWS: Cleveland Browns DT Malik McDowell Bonds Out After Being Arrested In South Florida On Public Exposure Charge
Zoo officials say they will do a full investigation in the incident and act on improved safety recommendations.