A young child has died of choking during a trip to the Toronto Zoo, but the city isn't saying very much.

Spokesperson Patricia Trott wouldn't give the child's age or say whether it's a boy or girl.

"We're actually not confirming any details," she told ctvtoronto.ca on Thursday, citing the city's concerns for the family's privacy.

Trott said the family had not asked them withhold information, adding, "It's not up to us to release details around the circumstances."

In a news release issued earlier Thursday, the city of Toronto described the events as a "terrible tragedy.

"Though the zoo staff, members of the public and Toronto's emergency responders  rushed to assist this young child it was, sadly, not enough," it said.

"The appropriate medical care that could be provided to the child was given as quickly as possible in the circumstances."

The city said assistance for the child also came from members of the public and Durham region emergency services personnel. The latter accompanied the child to hospital, providing emergency care during transport.

 "I'm not sure what happened in terms of dispatch," Trott said. "It might have just been a call in terms of the distance away. I don't really know the details of that."

The closest hospital appears to be Rouge Valley Centenary at 2867 Ellesmere Rd., which is about 7.3 kilometres from the zoo. It isn't known where the child was taken.

Asked when the city will have something further to say, Trott said, "I don't know that we will have something further to say. Again, it's a really awful situation. Emergency responders were there, tried to save the child. Unfortunately it wasn't enough."

Trott said she didn't have any details on how long it took responders to arrive at the call.

"As a matter of course, in a situation like this where a child dies, we'll take a look at that and make sure that everything was as it should be," she said, adding, "There's no reason to think there's anything untoward here."

The city asked the provincial ministry of health to investigate a June 25 incident. James Robert Hearst died in the lobby of his apartment on Alexander Street downtown. The first call to 911 was placed at 11:08 p.m., but paramedics didn't appear until 11:45 p.m.

Toronto EMS Chief Bruce Farr told a July 14 news conference that paramedics arrived within the mandated nine minutes but then waited because of safety concerns. Neighbours said there was nothing that could be construed as a threat to the paramedics' safety.

Farr claimed the initial call merely reported Hearst as having struck his head, but records from the building's security company indicate that EMS was told Hearst had turned blue, stopped breathing and finally, had no pulse.

This occurred during the municipal strike, but the city insisted the situation had nothing to do with the labour dispute.