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Boy Mauled After Falling Into Pit of Wild Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

Offbeat  (tags: animals, environment, zoos, children, death, protection )

- 2022 days ago -
A young boy visiting the Pittsburgh zoo with his mother and friends was killed on Sunday when he somehow got over a railing and then fell about 14 feet into an exhibit that's home to a pack of African painted dogs, who pounced on the boy and mauled him,

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MmAway M (505)
Monday November 5, 2012, 6:29 am
Have been watching this on the news and OMG, tragic. Prayers to the family, I sobbing just listening to the news. Parents need to be aware of their Children when going to Zoos, so many things have happened and will continue to happen.

pam w (139)
Monday November 5, 2012, 9:13 am
This has NOTHING to do WHATSOEVER with failure on the part of the zoo's conservation/education efforts!

It's not the zoo's fault that parents were irresponsible. Iv'e seen parents do worse things at our zoo...and then give us sour looks when we try to remind them to keep an eye on their childdren.

And, by the way.....zoos do NOT make profits on the display/education of endangered animals. There's not a zoo in the world which can get by without the generosity of donors who understand the necessity of educating the public and helping in the conservation effort.


Barbara K (60)
Monday November 5, 2012, 9:25 am
What a sad tragedy, Thanks, my friend.

. (0)
Monday November 5, 2012, 10:07 am
What a horror for a mother to witness.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday November 5, 2012, 12:01 pm
Very sad. My condolences to the family.

Past Member (0)
Monday November 5, 2012, 12:36 pm
Where were the parents?!! There is no excuse for allowing a young child to climb on a zoo fence for any reason. Fences are there to seperate the animals from the people and disregarding the barrier leads to tragic circumstances like this. Had the parents been more responsible this would not have happened.

michelle t (41)
Monday November 5, 2012, 12:40 pm
The stupid mother had her brat balancing on the railing.The fault lise with the mother and not the zoo or these wild dogs.
How dare they kill a poor wild dog.Disgusting.They should have euthanazed the idiot mother and not the wild dog.

Roseann d (178)
Monday November 5, 2012, 12:46 pm
I was thinking the same thing Kye. I hope the dogs are not destroyed for doing what is in their nature to do. But I do hope they are moved out of the zoo. People can be very vindictive.

Muriel Servaege (53)
Monday November 5, 2012, 12:51 pm
Condolences to the family.

Lisa N (206)
Monday November 5, 2012, 12:51 pm
So sad that this boy& one of the dogs lost their lives, because of this boys mothers negligence!!

Ruth C (87)
Monday November 5, 2012, 1:16 pm
I agree with Lisa Neste.

Nelson Baker (0)
Monday November 5, 2012, 2:15 pm
Apparently the mother was not watching the child.

Christeen A (368)
Monday November 5, 2012, 2:49 pm
Very sad. This mother was very negligent in watching her child.

Eternal G (745)
Monday November 5, 2012, 3:28 pm
If you can't be responsible for your children, don't become a parent!

Karen B (8)
Monday November 5, 2012, 3:42 pm
Some parents just have no common sense, anymore.The parents are letting young kids, decide what they want to do, without kids knowing what is good for them.!!!! if kids had the mental capacity, to really know what is safe, why do kids have parents to begin with.!!!!! So the kid fusses when he does not get his own way. so what, better safe than sorry.!!!!

Valerie W (52)
Monday November 5, 2012, 4:21 pm
Read & noted. So very sad & tragic, for all involved. Those parents will have to live with that for the rest of their lives, & be without that lost child forever as well. I pray the child died before the wild dogs attacked. But, those wild creatures most certainly should not be blamed, or punished, for reacting like the wild animals they are. I'm ok with captive breeding programs for endangered wildlife, to prevent their extinction, & hopefully be returned to the wild, but, just displaying all these unhappy, wild animals for the sake of displaying them, is inhumane, cruel & selfish! If you're determined to showcase your wildlife collection, then do so in a responsible, secure, & safe manner, for everyone, the visitors, AND, the animals!

Gloria p (304)
Monday November 5, 2012, 5:12 pm
The zoo did nothing wrong. It take good care of the animals. The mother was negligent. The poor child died right away which is a mercy.

Dianne D (490)
Monday November 5, 2012, 5:46 pm
Some of the dogs died because of an idiot human. That just isn't right. Hope the woman is charged with stupidity.

Gloria H (88)
Monday November 5, 2012, 6:37 pm
he "fell" from a fence that was taller than he was? Squeezed through the openings? Possibly the parent was holding him up so he could get a closer look at the doggies.Until zoo animals learn to polevault, fences are there to keep the public safe.

Charlene Rush (79)
Monday November 5, 2012, 7:31 pm
Unless negligence can be shown, I can't imagine how this mother must feel.
She'll have to live with this event, all of her life.

Tamara Hayes (185)
Monday November 5, 2012, 9:10 pm
Noted with great sadness.

reft h (66)
Monday November 5, 2012, 10:13 pm
a tragedy no matter how you look at it.

Donna Hamilton (159)
Tuesday November 6, 2012, 5:04 am
Sadly noted. Thanks Cher.

Nan Towle (75)
Tuesday November 6, 2012, 6:38 am

This is yet another reason why wild animals do not belong in zoos or captivity.

Humans seem to get further and further away from animals and nature and do not appreciate the inherent dangers. We seem to have lost common sense that have kept many of us alive over time. We seem to have lost the inherent fear and respect for the truly dangerous and wild aspects of nature and seem so surprised that something like this can happen. False sense of security allows us to be lax, get distracted or be negligent-- fatal in the wild.

These wild canines did not do anything wrong. They are wild. Anything that comes into their enclosure is prey and they do what they are wired to do. It is amazing to me that the zoo personnel were able to call off any of the dogs from a frenzy like that. Sadly the one that would not let go was probably the alpha of the pack and would be the best specimen to ensure survival of its endangered species. Instead of ensuring its survival, we had to kill it because of human errors. There are just no guarantees when you mix wild animals with humans.

We are so very sorry for this poor child.


Lloyd H (46)
Tuesday November 6, 2012, 7:22 am
WTF, the child did not "some how get over the barrier" his ignorant and hopefully legally accountable placed the child on top of the barrier and allowed the child to fall. They still do not know if the boy was killedby the fall, the dogs or a combination.

Helle H (21)
Tuesday November 6, 2012, 7:58 am
What kind of mother would place a child on a fence to watche the animals? I've never seen it.

pam w (139)
Tuesday November 6, 2012, 8:49 am
Helle....I've worked in a zoo for over 20 yearss and can assure you ....IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME!

I once grabbed a child who was trying to climb the fence around our alligator exhibit while his mother was NAPPING on a bench about 50 feet away!

I once encountered a man who had put his daughter over a locked fence & scaled it himself so he could take her up a keeper-only stairway and let her put her little fingers into the mangabey exhibit. Had I not come along when I did, the monkeys could easily have bitten off her fingers. Believe it or not...he was angry when I asked him to leave IMMEDIATELY!

Kevin A (64)
Tuesday November 6, 2012, 4:02 pm
I had already posted this article and a followup. The mother supposedly chose to stand her infant on the barrier fence and dropped him when "he lost his balance". And then he did not land in what should have caught him and perhaps have kept him save for rescue.BS. Instead he was propelled beyond the only safety. She may as well have thrown him in after taunting the dogs by holding him up where she did. Her's was a criminal act for which she needs to be charged.

Klaus Peters (14)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 8:09 am
Animals do not belong into zoos, that is clear, not even endangered species. It is senseless to breed endangered species in a zoo who will never adapt to the wild were they will be shot anyway by locals who don't want them. It is show and money and we can do it.
In this case, what was the mother thinking neglecting her duty to protect her child?
It will haunt her for the rest of her life, it is worse than a prison sentence.

Colleen Prinssen (14)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 9:23 am
where are the people saying "if they were wolves, the'd of helped the boy out"
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