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Just curious what other moms thoughts are on this....

Posted by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:33 PM
  • 26 Replies
Pittsburgh Zoo: 2-year-old boy who fell into exhibit was killed by African wild dogs, not fall
Published November 05, 2012
Associated Press

Nov. 4, 2012: A security guard closes the gate at the Pittsburgh Zoo, where zoo officials say a young boy was killed after he fell into the exhibit that was home to a pack of African painted dogs. (AP)
PITTSBURGH – A zoo where a 2-year-old boy fell into an exhibit and was fatally mauled by African wild dogs had met or exceeded all safety standards for animals and visitors, proving that no exhibit is "fail-proof," the zoo's president said Monday.
Nearby staff responded "within seconds" on Sunday but quickly determined the dog attack was fatal and didn't send handlers into the enclosure to intervene, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium president Barbara Baker said.
Instead, the dogs were recalled into an indoor enclosure as they've been trained to respond, though four of the 11 lingered near the boy even after blank anesthetic darts, used out of an abundance of caution for the boy's safety, were fired to shoo them away. One of the dogs, which are endangered, was fatally shot by police.
Baker said the zoo has been open since 1898 and this is the first time there's been "a visitor incident of this magnitude." She called the boy's death a "horrible, horrible tragedy" and said there's "no such thing as a fail-proof exhibit."
Baker struggled to maintain her composure during her Monday news conference and made clear she was careful to consider the family's feelings before answering questions, including one about how the boy died.
She paused several seconds before saying, "I'm trying to think of a family-sensitive way to address that. The child did not die from the fall. The child was mauled by the dogs."
Police were investigating, though police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki, who attended Baker's news conference, said he was there only to observe.
The boy's mother had put him on a wooden railing at the edge of a viewing deck before he fell late Sunday morning. He bounced out of netting below before dropping more than 10 feet into the dogs' enclosure.
Baker said the Allegheny County medical examiner's office determined the boy survived the plunge. The medical examiner's office has not publicly confirmed its findings or released the boy's name. Pittsburgh media outlets reported the boy was from suburban Whitehall, but The Associated Press couldn't immediately confirm that.
A spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which accredits zoos and aquariums that meet certain standards, said the Pittsburgh Zoo successfully completed its five-year review in September. And Baker said the U.S. Department of Agriculture had inspected the zoo and found it safe in recent months.
The wild dogs, about as big as medium-size domestic dogs, resemble wolves. They hunt in packs, targeting prey such as antelopes, gazelles and wildebeest calves, and their kills are noted for their savagery. Visitors view the zoo's dogs from a wooden deck that's enclosed except for the front, where the roughly 4-foot-high wooden railing is located.
The exhibit is closed indefinitely, and the dogs have been quarantined, though Baker said they will not be euthanized. The zoo also has been closed since the boy's death but will reopen Tuesday, Baker said.
Mourners left teddy bears and other items outside the zoo and responded to a condolence message on the zoo's Facebook page.
Nearly 1,000 people commented on the post, some passionately condemning the boy's mother and others urging compassion and understanding. More than a few parents acknowledged lifting their children onto the rail, too.
Baker said zoo officials "discourage" parents from setting their children on the wide, wooden railing, which slopes toward the viewing platform at a 45-degree angle so a child placed there would be more likely to fall backward into a parent's arms than forward into the exhibit.
Nate Legler takes his 4-year-old daughter to the Pittsburgh zoo two or three times a month and said it's safe and there's no way for a small child to climb over the wooden railing without assistance. He said he has lifted his daughter to give her a better view but never close enough to the railing to be dangerous.
"You can take your child to the Grand Canyon and hold them up to let them look down but not feel unsafe like you're going to drop them into the canyon," he said.
The director of animal care at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in neighboring Ohio, Doug Warmolts, said exhibits are designed with visitors' expectations in mind because they all want to have unobstructed views and "the up-close experience" but the first priority is always safety.
He said accidents like the boy's death in Pittsburgh are "one of those things that keep you up at night."
"I'm sure it's going to send ripples through our industry and everybody's going to double-check their measures and how to respond to things like that," he said.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/05/pittsburgh-zoo-2-year-old-boy-who-fell-into-exhibit-was-killed-by-wild-dogs/#ixzz2CM8nmKmf
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by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
areyouatroll
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM
So they determined it was fatal yet held back on the darts out of concern for the boys safety? Wtf
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kag1212
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Do you think the mom should be held accountable as well the zoo?


Quoting areyouatroll:

So they determined it was fatal yet held back on the darts out of concern for the boys safety? Wtf

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SevenKisses
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Old news.

areyouatroll
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Honestly I thought the mother should be held accountable only, not the zoo.

However, this article makes it sound like the zoo workers had enough time to act but didn't... so if that is the case, both should be held responsible.


Quoting kag1212:

Do you think the mom should be held accountable as well the zoo?




Quoting areyouatroll:

So they determined it was fatal yet held back on the darts out of concern for the boys safety? Wtf

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kag1212
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I know it's been like two weeks but I was just curious what other moms thought


Quoting SevenKisses:

Old news.


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kag1212
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I think both should be, but I don't think there's been any talk of the mom being charged with anything.


Quoting areyouatroll:

Honestly I thought the mother should be held accountable only, not the zoo.



However, this article makes it sound like the zoo workers had enough time to act but didn't... so if that is the case, both should be held responsible.




Quoting kag1212:

Do you think the mom should be held accountable as well the zoo?






Quoting areyouatroll:

So they determined it was fatal yet held back on the darts out of concern for the boys safety? Wtf


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:47 PM

I'm horrified by pretty much every aspect of this. I live literally 10 minutes from the pgh zoo, we go at least twice a week during the summer. So many things about zoos make me uncomfortable, and I always chalked it up to my awful anxiety. My mom and I were just talking today about how grateful we are that we're always hyper- aware when we're in places like that. Honestly, I don't know where to place the blame, because I don't think my brain has fully even wrapped around the fact that it even happened at all. Kwim?

Hannahluvsdogs
by Ruby Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:52 PM
I don't think it's the zoo's fault at all.
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Rach7224
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:52 PM
I have mixed feelings. It does sound like they had time to react and the comment that they held off and didnt send people in because of safety is just so umimaginable to me. They would have felt likw they no longer had the upper hand and at least backed off. I also feel like the info given about the way the enclosure is set up the mom had to have been less safe than she should have been... with that being said i dont know enough to defermine who i think should be at fault more... i honestly feel that the mom and thezoo should have taken different precautions. Its just sad!
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kag1212
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Yeah we go often too. I just would never even think to hold my child up like that and even if I did I would have a grip where there would be no chance of letting go. But the entire story is shocking to me. I don't understand why the zookeepers didn't do more either.


Quoting Anonymous:

I'm horrified by pretty much every aspect of this. I live literally 10 minutes from the pgh zoo, we go at least twice a week during the summer. So many things about zoos make me uncomfortable, and I always chalked it up to my awful anxiety. My mom and I were just talking today about how grateful we are that we're always hyper- aware when we're in places like that. Honestly, I don't know where to place the blame, because I don't think my brain has fully even wrapped around the fact that it even happened at all. Kwim?


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