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Some parents are too stupid to be parents. CHILD KILLED AT PGH ZOO.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/11/04/pittsburgh-zoo-boy-dies-a_n_2073268.html

PITTSBURGH — A 2-year-old boy visiting the Pittsburgh zoo was killed Sunday morning when he fell off a railing that his mother had put him on top of to view a pack of African painted dogs, who pounced on the child and mauled him, police said.
It was not clear whether the boy died from the fall into the wild dog exhibit area or from the attack, said Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
"It was very horrific," said Lt. Kevin Kraus of the Pittsburgh police, who added that the dogs attacked "immediately" after the boy fell at about 11:45 a.m. Zoo officials at first estimated the boy fell 14 feet, but police said it was 11. It was not clear which is correct.
When the boy fell, other visitors immediately told staff members, who responded along with Pittsburgh police. Zookeepers called off some of the dogs, and seven of them immediately went to a back building. Three more eventually were drawn away from the child, but the last dog was aggressive and police had to shoot the animal, officials say.
The zoo was immediately closed; it was not clear when it would be reopened, authorities said.
Authorities didn't immediately release the name of the boy or his mother, but say she is 34 years old and lives in Pleasant Hills, just outside Pittsburgh. The boy's father arrived on the scene soon after the accident, police said.
The dogs are about as big as medium-sized domestic dogs, 2 to 2 1/2 feet high and 37 to 80 pounds, according to the zoo. African wild dogs are also known as cape hunting dogs, spotted dogs, and painted wolves. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes and are considered endangered.
The dogs hunt in packs in the wild, and Baker said that they "were in pack mentality" during the attack.
The dogs normally live in a 1.5 acre exhibit called the Painted Dog Bush Camp that's part of a larger open area called the African Savanna, where elephants, lions and other animals can be seen. Visitors walk onto a deck that is glassed on the sides, but open in front where the railing is located. Visitors can look out at the dogs below.
Zoo officials said there is also a mesh barrier beyond the railing, but Kraus said it was designed to catch small objects such as cameras, and not humans.
Steve Feldman, a spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said no one he's spoken to can recall any deaths of children at an accredited zoo over the last 40 years or more. Feldman said the Pittsburgh Zoo successfully completed its five-year review in September, which means it meets or exceeds all safety standards.
In May, some of the dogs crawled under a fence and escaped into a part of the exhibit that's usually closed. The zoo was on lockdown for about an hour as a precaution.
Past fatal attacks at zoos have prompted zoos around the nation to review safety features of their exhibits. In 2007, a tiger jumped over a wall at the San Francisco zoo, killing one visitor and wounding two others. In September a man jumped off an elevated viewing train at the Bronx Zoo in New York and was severely mauled by tigers.
Baker said the Pittsburgh Zoo has never had a visitor death. She said no decision has been made yet on the future of the exhibit.
___
Associated Press writer Ron Todt in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
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by on Nov. 4, 2012 at 9:34 PM
Replies (31-40):
Sweet_Britt
by on Nov. 4, 2012 at 9:56 PM

You could NOT have stopped me from jumping into that enclosure after my baby. This is one of the saddest things I've read in a long time. I seriously hope the fall killed that baby, and if not, that the poor mother went deaf until the cries/screams stopped.

My fucking god, it makes me sick to my stomach.

mali321
by on Nov. 4, 2012 at 9:59 PM

I cannot begin to imagine what the family is going through. She watched her child fall and be mauled to death. Setting the kid on the fence she will never forgive herself for, and her dreams and thoughts will be forever burned into her nightmares for the rest of her life. It's a horrible tragedy.

Isaacsmom913
by Platinum Member on Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:13 PM
1 mom liked this

I live in Pgh and take my son to the zoo OFTEN as we are members. 

While I believe the mother was irresponsible for putting her child on the railing the zoo also has culpability here as well.  I stand 5ft 6in in my bare feet and am at mid chest level when standing on this deck.  There is always the possibility of someone jumping or a child crawling up onto the railing.  I always thought there needed to be a layer of protection between the railing and the ravine below adn this proves it.

This is a tragic accident in which a 3 year old lost his life.  Both his and the Pgh Zoo and Aquarium are culpable here....

Maevelyn
by Gold Member on Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I'm not all that shocked. One of my best friends is a guid at our zoo and she spends all day telling people not to do obviously dangerous things and getting yelled at for her trouble. She constantly complains about parents sitting their children on railings. They always argue with her because they would "never" drop their child. She's going to hate hearing about this. I feel bad for the animals, they are going to suffer if the exhibit is closed. 

Maevelyn
by Gold Member on Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:19 PM

kids shouldn't be able to crawl under but parents should never sit children on railing. 

Quoting Isaacsmom913:

I live in Pgh and take my son to the zoo OFTEN as we are members. 

While I believe the mother was irresponsible for putting her child on the railing the zoo also has culpability here as well.  I stand 5ft 6in in my bare feet and am at mid chest level when standing on this deck.  There is always the possibility of someone jumping or a child crawling up onto the railing.  I always thought there needed to be a layer of protection between the railing and the ravine below adn this proves it.

This is a tragic accident in which a 3 year old lost his life.  Both his and the Pgh Zoo and Aquarium are culpable here....


Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Wow. I myself have done this with my child.. I cant believe the pain this mom is feeling right now :'( 

Isaacsmom913
by Platinum Member on Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:23 PM

I totally agree--believe me, I'm not stating that the Mom was up for mother of the year prior to this--but the zoo has an obligation to keep the public at large safe.  A 3 year old isn't capable of saying "Mom, I can't see the doggies but putting me up here isn't a brilliant idea"  If you electrify the water that seperates the elephants "island" from the cement area where the public watches them WHY would you not plexiglass an enclosure where dangerous dogs roam 14 feet below?  OR why not make the fence higher with a window cut out that prevents parents from setting their children on it? 

As I said on my FB page--people tend to forget that animals at the zoo are wild.  They aren't your puppy dog, or giant version of your kitty cat either...

Quoting Maevelyn:

kids shouldn't be able to crawl under but parents should never sit children on railing. 

Quoting Isaacsmom913:

I live in Pgh and take my son to the zoo OFTEN as we are members. 

While I believe the mother was irresponsible for putting her child on the railing the zoo also has culpability here as well.  I stand 5ft 6in in my bare feet and am at mid chest level when standing on this deck.  There is always the possibility of someone jumping or a child crawling up onto the railing.  I always thought there needed to be a layer of protection between the railing and the ravine below adn this proves it.

This is a tragic accident in which a 3 year old lost his life.  Both his and the Pgh Zoo and Aquarium are culpable here....



livelaughlov26
by on Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM
That is so sad. :(
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MyDragonFlies11
by on Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I couldn't even keep reading .. wtf
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 6 on Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM
1 mom liked this

 Stupidity or bad mistake, whatever it was, I just don't understand why the mother or anyone else didn't jump in. I know that if it were my child I would not hesitate to jump in and hold my child and let myself get mauled to death while protecting him and waiting for zoo personal to get the situation under control. 11 to 14 ft is not that high. You might break an ankle jumping in but at least have a fighting chance to save your child by kicking the shit out of the dogs.

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