A two-year-old girl and her mother have been injured in an incident involving an animal at Dublin Zoo.

The child was attacked by a tapir during a supervised visit at the zoo yesterday.

Her mother was also hurt when she intervened.

The child underwent surgery following the attack.

She is now recovering and is in a stable condition, according to Temple Street Children's Hospital. Her mother is being treated at the Mater Hospital.

The zoo has launched an investigation into the incident and has ceased all supervised visits to animal enclosures with immediate effect.

A tapir is similar in size to a pig and looks like an anteater.

The mother and her daughter had been given permission to view the Brazilian tapir at close quarters when the attack occurred.

A spokesperson for the zoo said that such visits are normally permitted on an ad hoc and case-by-case basis.

Brazilian tapirs are generally docile animals. The female tapir involved in the incident had given birth to a calf just last month.

The zoo's first aid team attended the scene.

Dublin Zoo said staff were deeply upset over the incident.