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Old 11-05-2012, 08:18 AM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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2-year-old mauled to death by wild dogs after falling into Pittsburgh Zoo exhibit

Wow...horrible. RIP




A 2-year-old boy was mauled to death today after falling into the African painted dog exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.

Pittsburgh police Major Crimes Lt. Kevin Kraus said the boy's 34-year-old mother placed the child in a standing position on a wooden railing overlooking the enclosure.

"Almost immediately after that he lost his balance, fell down off the railing into the actual pit and he was immediately attacked by 11 dogs," Lt. Kraus said.

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

Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Baker said at a news conference shortly after the incident that the child fell over the wooden railing and off of a mesh barrier where the painted dogs were on display. A zoo spokeswoman and police said the wooden railing is 4 feet in height and the lower mesh barrier is 11 feet 4 inches above the open exhibit space.


Lt. Kraus said zoo personnel responded within minutes. The first personnel on scene were able to lure seven of the dogs away from the victim and into a secure and separated area. A second set of personnel began "throwing objects and some other techniques that they use" to secure three more dogs.

He said the final dog, which was acting very aggressively toward the victim and zoo personnel, was shot multiple times by two Pittsburgh police officers and died.

Lt. Kraus said none of the people who observed the child fall into the enclosure made an attempt to go after him. The news release from zoo officials noted that keepers attempted to enter the yard but were unable to reach the child.

One ineffective technique used by zoo personnel to lure the animals away from the child was to fire "dummy tranquilizer rounds," Lt. Kraus said.

Information released from the zoo indicated that "unfortunately, the dogs were in pack mentality and not responding."

The child was pronounced dead at the scene 12 p.m.

The incident is under investigation by police and the zoo. Lt. Kraus said it would be inappropriate to speculate on potential charges at this time and the bureau will continue to investigate to determine if anything could have been prevented.

Police said the boy and his mother are from Pleasant Hills and were visiting the zoo with relatives, an adult and another child, at the time of the incident.

Ms. Cinti described a horrifying scene that lasted a little more than 5 minutes but seemed like hours.

"We were on our way to the polar bear exhibit when we heard the most horrible piercing screams. ... Someone was begging for help, asking someone to do something," she said. The couple ran back in the direction they came from, passing the bear exhibits. The screams continued.

As they reached the painted dog exhibit, she saw a small crowd of distressed onlookers. "One woman with a baby in the stroller was screaming that someone needed to do something," Ms. Cinti said. She said she could see the little boy's apparently lifeless body lying on the hill inside the exhibit. "There were three dogs: one at his head, one on the left side of his neck and another one down by his leg. ... A [zoo employee] got there and hopped over a fence with a rake and he was banging ... trying to distract the dogs but they wouldn't move," she said.

Ms. Cinti, a student at Community College of Allegheny County, tracked the time frame with her cell phone, saying she made a call at 11:49 a.m. when she and her boyfriend first headed toward the commotion. She said her cell phone shows that the call was ended five minutes and five seconds later, when a half-dozen zoo employees arrived and dispersed the crowd.

Bart DePasquale, who was at the zoo today with his two children for a birthday party, was near the tiger exhibit when he heard screams coming from the direction of the African painted dogs exhibit.

"People were yelling 'Get away,' and 'Stay away,' and it wasn't just one person, it was an entire group of people," said Mr. DePasquale, 29, of Fox Chapel. "The screams sounded heavily distressed and the people were using profanity. They were shouting to zoo employees."

Mr. DePasquale and Ms. Cinti said they were told to go inside the nearest buildings where they were kept there for about a half hour.

"We were locked down in the building and told to stay inside. ... We thought it was a problem with one of the animals that got loose. Then we were told it was an incident with the wild dogs and that a child had been hurt."

When patrons were told the zoo was closed and they needed to leave, Mr. DePasquale said, "On the way out, I saw a mother who was distressed and crying and other people who couldn't even talk about it. ... People and anyone who had been close were almost in tears, were walking out glassy-eyed. That's when multiple people told me the dogs attacked a young child."

Ms. Baker 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.

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, including eight in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh zoo has been recognized by AZA since 1986.The accreditation commission evaluates every zoo and aquarium to determine if they meet accepted standards for safety policies and procedures, security, physical facilities, animal management and care, health and nutrition, veterinary programs, involvement in conservation and research and education programs.



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2BMUJWMyp
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:32 PM   #151
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:33 PM   #152
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The are countless cases of parents/people doing the seemingly impossible when their child's/loved one's life was in danger.
I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.....
Watch the video I posted.

Then imagine 11.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:33 PM   #153
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Watch the video I posted.

Then imagine 11.
My point stands. Seemingly impossible to overcome. Yet it happens.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #154
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and oh by the way, is there any use for regulating the minimum age for entry into this place? not to be a fuddy duddy pro regulation sort, but it just seems to me the zoo with open pits is not the place for any child under the age of 10.
I agree 100% Swimming pools, too. And amusement parks. The circus.

Children should be allowed to leave the house until at least 10.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:38 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
My point stands. Seemingly impossible to overcome. Yet it happens.
In movies.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:39 PM   #156
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I agree 100% Swimming pools, too. And amusement parks. The circus.

Children should be allowed to leave the house until at least 10.
Only an idiot like you would use appropriate comparisons to illustrate that government regulation replacing parental responsibility is a slippery slope that, once begun, has no ending in sight.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #157
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Gotta agree with Killer_Clown and ZepSinger, there’s just no way I could stand there doing nothing. Of course I’d also have the forethought to consider the possibility that my child might fall in and not stand them on the rail to begin.
Back when we were kids, we used to dare each other to jump in with the dogs just to see how many we could take out before having to be patched up before bleeding out. It was a different generation you know.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:49 PM   #158
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I mean, yeah, it could happen. As someone who has buddies who have spent extensive years in Africa and are familiar with them, the answer is no. 11 painted dogs is a death sentence. That child and the parent that would jump in after them would be eaten alive. Literally.

Now if you had like 4-7 full grown men with sticks, clubs, you might have a chance.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:49 PM   #159
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In movies.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:59 PM   #160
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In movies.
Would you try to save your kids?
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #161
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Horrible, but I'm not seeing what the dogs (or the zoo workers) did wrong.

"the boy's 34-year-old mother placed the child in a standing position on a wooden railing overlooking the enclosure"
This.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #162
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Would you try to save your kids?
nope, they'd be dog food
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:15 PM   #163
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Thats terrible...These dogs are vicious. They're known for eating their prey while the prey is still alive. Hopefully the little boy didn't suffer much.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:18 PM   #164
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nope, they'd be dog food
I'm guessing you don't have kids?
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:21 PM   #165
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I'm guessing you don't have kids?
What would give you that idea?
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