Brevard Zoo makes changes to rhino enclosure

Change is coming to the Rhino Encounter at the Brevard Zoo after a little girl caused a big stir, when she fell through the bars into the animal’s habitat.

Zoo officials say they have submitted a report to the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission with proposed safety improvements. The zoo says it will add horizontal bars to the hands on area. And zoo customers say good call- that’s needed.

“A lot of people were talking about it as they walked through,” said Amanda Weisner, as she was leaving the zoo with her three children.

She says she looked carefully at the deck on the Rhino Encounter because she wanted to see with her own eyes -the spot that has garnered international media coverage  -- where a two-year-old fell through the bars into the rhino yard and she was grazed by a rhino’s snout.  For now, the rhino encounter remains closed.

“I was sizing it up for sure because she’s really tiny,” Weisner said and pointed to her daughter.

The spokeswoman for the zoo is now telling FOX 35 that, of the proposals sent to FWC on how it can improve safety, the main thing is adding horizontal bars to the exhibit.

“I think the bars are too far apart for sure,” Weisner said.

FOX 35 asked the zoo what other changes might be coming and officials say they would rather wait to discuss that until everything is finalized with FWC, but some are calling for tighter enforcement of age restrictions of hands on activities.