A 3 year old boy was killed at the Pittsburgh Zoo on Sunday when he fell into a pit of African painted dogs and was mauled to death. The boy was visiting the zoo with his mother and some friends when he got too close to the side of the observation deck. The boy fell 14 feet into the dog pen according to the Chicago Tribune.
Tracy Gray of the Pittsburgh Zoo PPG Aquarium was not sure if the child was killed by the dogs or if he died from the fall. All that was known is after he hit the pen the dogs attacked.
Staff members and the Pittsburgh police responded immediately when it was reported the boy fell into the pen. Zookeepers were able to draw away all but one of the dogs which police shot and killed.
The dogs are about 2.5 feet high and weigh between 40-80 pounds according to the zoo. African wild dogs are also known as cape hunting dogs, spotted dogs, and painted wolves. They are considered endangered.
The zoo, which has never had a visitor death since it opened its doors are conducting an internal investigation into the attack. Police and the medical examiner’s office are conducting their own independent investigations.
This is not the first time the dog pack had made the news. In May, some of the dogs got out of the exhibit and the entire zoo had to be put on lock down for more than two hours. The dogs are not considered exceptionally dangerous but they are unpredictable and they hunt in packs making them fairly deadly.
What do you think police should do about the dogs after the death of a three year old boy?