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Update: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo 

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Old 11-04-2012, 03:52 PM
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Update: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

Officials of the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium confirmed this afternoon that a little boy was mauled to death today after falling into the African painted dog exhibit.

The incident occurred at 11:48 a.m. at the Highland Park complex, according to emergency dispatch supervisor. The zoo was shut down within a half-hour of the incident and will remain closed indefinitely.

A Pittsburgh police officer shot and killed one of the 11 dogs in the exhibit.

Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Baker said the child, who was about 3 years old, was on an outing with his mother when he fell over a railing and off of a mesh barrier where the painted dogs were on display.

A news release distributed by zoo officials said keepers were able to quickly clear seven of the 11 dogs from the exhibit. Though darts were shot into the exhibit in an effort to scare the dogs away from the child, the news release indicated that "unfortunately, the dogs were in pack mentality and not responding."

Keepers attempted to enter the yard but were unable to reach the child, the release said.

Pittsburgh police officers and keepers attempted to lure the dogs away but one "aggressive" dog was shot and killed by an officer. Ms. Baker commended the officer, noting the dog would not move away from the child.

She said the zoo initially declared a "code blue," meaning an accident involving a human had occurred. That was followed with a "code red," meaning that there was a serious human emergency in play.

The incident is under investigation by police and the zoo.

Ms. Baker said no decision has been made about the future of the exhibit.

The African painted dog exhibit debuted after the October 2009 birth of the pups. A surrogate mutt was drafted into service for the nine pups after their natural mother died of a ruptured uterus. In the spring of this year, nine of the 11 painted dogs escaped a section of their enclosure causing a brief shutdown of the zoo.

Ms. Baker said at that time on May 5 that the dogs got into a 1.5-acre "backup yard" not visible to the public, but the dogs were not out of their exhibit.

African painted dogs are an endangered species.

In September, the zoo announced that it had again been accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums after a review of its animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education and safety.

AZA is a nonprofit organization with a team of professionals that inspect and review each zoo or aquarium seeking accreditation. Currently 224 facilities have been recognized and approved by the organization. The Pittsburgh zoo has been recognized by AZA since 1986.


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Old 11-04-2012, 04:12 PM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

That's just sad. Did his mom have him sitting on the railing?

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Old 11-04-2012, 05:21 PM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

stupid mom

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Old 11-04-2012, 05:43 PM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo


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Old 11-04-2012, 05:50 PM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

His mother killed him.

No cure for stupid.

I wonder if they tested her for drugs and alcohol.

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Old 11-04-2012, 11:15 PM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

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Here is some additional information. Not sure if the boy was 2 or 3. He starts out as 2 and becomes 3 later in the article.

Updated at 9:33 p.m. ET: A 2-year-old boy fell into an African painted dog exhibit at a Pittsburgh zoo on Sunday and was mauled by the wild animals, zoo officials said.

The child was with his mother visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. He fell about 11 feet off a railing that his mother had put him on top of to view the animals, police said.

He was immediately attacked by several dogs, zoo President and CEO Barbara Baker said. It is unclear whether the boy died from the fall or from being attacked by the animals.

"The screams just kept coming and coming, 'Someone help. Someone has to do something,'" Angela Cinti, 20, of Bethel Park, who was visiting the zoo with her boyfriend, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The zoo quickly moved visitors into buildings as animal keepers tried to coax the dogs into an off-exhibit area. Many of the 11 dogs in the exhibit moved away immediately, and several others were scared away from the child by the zookeepers. A remaining dog would not leave the child, and a Pittsburgh police officer shot the animal.

No visitors on the observation deck saw the child fall into the exhibit, Baker said.

The zoo was closed for the day while police and zoo officials investigate.

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.

A 3-year-old boy fell into the African painted dog cage at the Pittsburgh Zoo on Sunday, where they pounced and mauled him. NBC's Lester Holt reports.
African painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs, Cape hunting dogs, spotted dogs, and painted wolves, are found in the open plains and sparse woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. The long-legged canines have only four toes per foot.

According to the zoo’s website, African painted dogs are the size of medium domestic dogs, weighing on average between 37 and 80 pounds and measuring 24 to 30 inches high.

The dogs are classified as an endangered species.

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.

In May, some of the dogs crawled under a fence and escaped into a part of the exhibit that's usually closed. The animals were lured back in with food and no one was hurt.

Ten African painted dogs were born at the zoo in 2009, and their mother died of a ruptured uterus shortly after delivering the litter. Five of the pups survived. The mortality rate for painted pups is 50 percent, even when born in the wild to a healthy mother.

It was only the second litter to be hand-raised in captivity, along with one in the United Kingdom, zoo officials said at the time.

An African painted dog yawns at the Pittsburgh Zoo in March 2009. Officials say a young boy was mauled to death after falling into the wild dog exhibit on Sunday, (photo below). *Scary looking things! She fed him to the wolves/dogs!*

Your Source For Death Pictures and Death Video
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:34 PM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

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Originally Posted by icheerthebull View Post
I don't know why parents think it's cute to take pictures of their babies with wild animals.

Dumb ass! Who stands a 2 or 3 year old baby on the rail above a wild animal and prays nothing happens?

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Old 11-04-2012, 11:38 PM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

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Originally Posted by Megamel29 View Post
That's just sad. Did his mom have him sitting on the railing?
The article I read said he was standing. Either way, he was a baby.

What a dumb ass!

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Old 11-05-2012, 08:45 AM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

Usually, there is a subconscious motivation involved.

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:30 AM
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Re: Child Mauled to Death by African Painted Dogs at Pittsburgh Zoo

The mother was 34 years old. Certainly old enough to know better, but obviously stupid.

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