Published On: Mon, Nov 5th, 2012

Child mauled to death in Pittsburgh zoo by African painted dogs

A two-year-old has been killed at the Pittsburgh zoo after the toddler fell off a railing into an enclosure for wild dogs.

UPDATE: The boy was identified as Maddox Derkosh. Read here for a photo of Maddox and a zoo update.

Pittsburgh police said the boy’s mother put him on top of the railing at the edge of a viewing deck to see the African painted dogs. The child lost his balance and fell into the enclosure and was attacked eleven wild animals.

African Painted dog Photo by Aaron Logan

Visitors to Pittsburgh Zoo immediately alerted staff who responded “within minutes”. The keepers called down the dogs, most withdrew from the child. Three other dogs were eventually pulled away but the last animal had to be shot.

Barbara Baker, the president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, said staff “tried everything” to save the boy.

“They responded immediately when visitors alerted them to the fact that a child was in the yard,” she said.

“They … were able to get several of the dogs into the backup building.”

Authorities didn’t 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 zoo was closed immediately after the incident on Sunday and remained shut on Monday.

African painted dogs are endangered and native to sub-Saharan Africa, according to the National Geographic

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Pittsburgh zoo calendar features the wild dogs which killed Maddox Derkosh - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] 2-year-old child was fatally mauled by wild dogs on November 4 by African painted dogs, which were included in the nearly released 2013 calendar – the month of […]

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