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2 Year Old Boy Killed By Animals At Pittsburgh Zoo


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This is an absolutely tragic story. Tragic because it's 100% the parents fault, but unfortunately it will probably be the zoo who will ultimately have to change things. I hate hearing about these incidents and I really wish there was a way for the mother to be charged for the death. I mean, what kind of person puts their 2 year old child on or over a railing of a wild animal enclosure?!?!

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/05/wild-dogs-kill-2-year-old-zoo_n_2075789.html

Wild Dogs Kill 2-Year-Old Boy At Pittsburgh Zoo

PITTSBURGH — A 2-year-old boy who fell into an exhibit of African wild dogs was killed by the animals, not the fall, the president of the Pittsburgh Zoo said Monday, adding a horrific coda to a tragedy that has devastated staff and shocked patrons.

 

The boy's mother had picked him up and put him on top of a railing at the edge of a viewing deck late Sunday morning when he lost his balance and fell, said Barbara Baker, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. There was a safety net below the railing, but it failed to catch him and the boy dropped more than 10 feet into the enclosure, she said.

 

"The child was so small that he bounced. He bounced twice and then he bounced into the exhibit," said Baker, tearing up at a news conference Monday afternoon.

 

The animals attacked the child so violently and quickly that by the time a veterinarian and other zoo staffers arrived seconds later, they determined it would have been futile to try rescuing the boy, she said.

 

Baker said she had been informed by the Allegheny County medical examiner that an autopsy determined the boy survived the plunge. The medical examiner's office has not yet publicly confirmed its findings or released the boy's name.

 

The African painted dogs are about as big as medium-sized domestic dogs, about 37 to 80 pounds, according to the zoo. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes and are considered endangered.

 

The attack happened in a 1.5-acre exhibit called the Painted Dog Bush Camp that's part of a larger open area 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 roughly four-foot railing is located.

 

The zoo was immediately closed after the accident but was expected to reopen Tuesday.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/dispatches/2012/11/05/dogs-kill-boy-pittsburgh-zoo/1683757/

 

Pittsburgh Zoo closed after a toddler is mauled to death

2:34PM EST November 5. 2012 - The Pittsburgh Zoo was closed Monday after a 2-year-old boy was mauled to death Sunday by African painted dogs on exhibit.

 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the unidentified child was with his mother and that police said he fell after she held him up to get a better view. Zoo CEO Barbara Baker told a press conference on Monday that he was so small he ricocheted off netting meant to guard against anyone falling into the area, the newspaper said.

 

The boy fell into the exhibit containing 11 of the wild dogs. A medical examiner ruled the toddler's death was not due to a fall, the newspaper said.

 

Baker said zoo workers could not enter the enclosure to save the child because the situation was too dangerous. They fired dummy tranquilizer guns to scare the dogs, because real tranquilizers could have killed a small child. Police eventually shot and killed one of the four dogs who refused to leave the victim.

 

The zoo was closed for the day on Monday. Baker said the dogs were quarantined but had not been put to death.

 

--Robb

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That is rather tragic. The zoo probably has signs on the rails that says "Don't sit on them", or one would at the very least have common sense not to balance a child on the fence! I do think charges should be pressed on her under neglect of her child. Some people are complete idiots who have no sense of common sense, and with their lacking of common sense, people die.

 

It is indeed very tragic, and I do hope for the best for the family of that child. I also hope the Mother learned from her mistakes and faces the proper justice for her actions.

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Parks need to protect themselves from the negligence of their patrons. Seriously bad parenting for sure but the safety net should be functional in case something like this happens. Very awful story that probably wont end well for the remaining dogs either. The parent's life too is basically over. Very sad.

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I wouldn't be so sure that Mom won't be charged in this case. I would advise her at this point to "lawyer up" in case eventual child endangerment charges come her way.

 

Such a sad story, it was an accident that could have been avoided.

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Truly tragic! I can't imagine how a parent could put their kid in that type of danger! Forget the dogs for a second, there was a 10 ft. drop on the other side of that railing!

 

My thoughts are with the rest of the boys family, the Zoo Staff, and everyone who witnessed such a tragic event.

 

-Doug "It is sad to see when lack of common sense ends in tragedy" Mandell

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Parks need to protect themselves from the negligence of their patrons. Seriously bad parenting for sure but the safety net should be functional in case something like this happens.

OMG! Did one of our members just suggest that the zoo should take some blame for this?!??!

 

Wow... a seriously embarrassing day for TPR....

 

If you honestly think that, then all recreational facilities should just close. Period. Because that would be the only way to truly protect themselves from the negligence of all patrons.

 

The zoo has been open 114 years and this is the first accident of it's kind.

 

It embarrasses me that one of our readers thinks the park would even remotely be at fault for this.

Edited by robbalvey
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...Seriously bad parenting for sure but the safety net should be functional in case something like this happens...

 

Those safety nets are probably more for things like; dropped cameras, cell phones, garbage, ect. They probably were not intended to catch a 2 year old. Much like the nets under B&M Hypers.

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It's such a horrible thing to happen to the zoo and anyone who had to witness the event. As for the net comment, the zoo should not be held responsible because the net is not designed to catch people, just loose objects. I'm sure the zoo didn't anticipate having to build a net to catch a person falling into an exhibit because they thought (or hoped) that no one would be so stupid as to do something like this.

 

It's very unfortunate that it seems no matter what safety precautions are put in place in any situation, people find a way around them/blatantly ignore them, resulting in complaints that things aren't safe enough.

 

Edit; ^much like DougMJr said.

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^Exactly. The need for railings is already a double precaution as the animals were in an enclosure. Now the victim's family will claim they zoo needed double railings, giant safety nets, etc. When really all they need is their patrons to follow rules and not put two year olds (or any age children) on safety railings.

 

Horrible story, and I feel for everyone who was there, but it's just pisses me off that a parent would put their child in that danger.

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Perhaps I don't understand what safety net means but I promise there is a lawyer licking his chops that thinks he dose. Robb, I only took the info you provided which said there was a safety net and it failed. The story didn't refer to it as a loose article screen that I am aware of. This will come up again and I am sure the parks lawyer will agree it was the mothers fault as I do. The fact that people do negligent things and our legal system supports them isn't changing any time soon.

 

Robb, why not just ask me to clarify my comment, that was a bit much IMO.

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The most dangerous animal in a zoo is man. This is a shame but is a perfect example of terrible parenting at its finest.

Life of Pi quote? I definintly remember reading that exact same line in the book. Anyways, I just hate when this happens, and not only does it usually involve animals, but it's mostly the persons fault! I definintly feel sorry for the mother, but that kind of stupidity just really is terrible! I hope the Zoo doesn't get sued for this, and I hope the rest of the dogs arn't sentenced to death!

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Plaintiff attorneys just orgasmed over this line "...that he was so small he ricocheted off netting meant to guard against anyone falling into the area.."

 

Lawsuit in 3,2,1....

 

Negligent parent, and yet she'll still make out with something. Unreal.

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It should be noted that while she has no one but herself to blame, this is a young mother that just witnessed her 2 year old baby get torn to shreds by dogs. I'm fairly certain that at least for the time being, there are other things on her mind than dollar signs.

Awful story, and I feel terrible for the child's family.

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This is one of the many reasons I'm beginning to really hate America, people being rewarded for stupidity. Honestly, WHY ON EARTH DID THE MOTHER DO THIS?! I feel sorry for the kid for having a moronic mother and the dogs which will likely be killed because of the mothers stupidity.

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When I'm somewhere and see signs like "Do not climb on the railing," I always think something like that is unnecessary and self-explanatory. Unfortunately and sadly in our society they are needed everywhere we go. What goes through these parents' minds when performing such acts like dangling their child on/over a railing? Poor kid.

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