Posted in: Animal News

Pittsburgh Zoo: 3 Year Old Boy Mauled To Death By Wild Dogs

Pittsburgh Zoo

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?

Articles And Offers From The Web


87 Responses to “Pittsburgh Zoo: 3 Year Old Boy Mauled To Death By Wild Dogs”

  1. Roy Richards

    Tragic! How high were the walls around the enclosure? There's no way they would be low enough for a child to fall over, he had to have climbed on top of something.

  2. Jaimie N Tommy

    Something had to have been faulty. There are four foot railing and then netting below. So sad a family had to suffer such a loss.

  3. Emily Conlon-Rossman

    Tragic, but this article doesnt agree with the article they cite.
    "PITTSBURGH — A 2-year-old boy visiting the Pittsburgh zoo was killed Sunday when he fell off a railing that his mother had put him on top of to view a pack of African painted dogs, who pounced on the child and mauled him, police said."

  4. Emily Conlon-Rossman

    We were there in May the day they escaped. We ended up waiting for a couple of hours to go in. They ended up shutting down the dog exhibit that day so we did not get to view them.

  5. Erica May

    The dogs were just acting as they instinctively do. It's hard to believe that the walls could be low enough for a mom to just prop her child up there w/nothing else blocking the way to the dogs. Also, if there was honestly nothing blocking the way to the dogs who would casually set their child on a wall next to predators & why would a zoo not take better safety precautions?

  6. Kristina Mattea

    His mother set him on top of the wall where the dogs live in the enclosure below.

  7. Amy Meehan

    I was wondering the same thing Jen. By the way, how in the heck are you?

  8. Jen Klinsic

    I dont kno this mother…and dont get me wrong…i feel for her loss….it just infuriates me…THINK!!! BE SAFE!! He's three….he will be happy to see them from ANY angle!! Please dont have ur child on a railing…regardless of how much i think ur holding on to him!!

  9. Jen Klinsic

    Im good amy!! Miss working for svh tho…im serious!
    Dawn….i cant even say another word …im so infuriated by the whole thing!!

  10. Amy Meehan

    We miss you! Always felt secure when you were on – honest. I know your heart was down south and Im happy your happy!

  11. Kristen Cherie Grady-Ibrahim

    Pathetic a 34 year old woman doesn't have the intelligence not to let her 2-3year old son stand on a railing that's 11-14(different sites say different things) above an enclosure with a pack of wild dogs. The child wasn't being held and I'm sorry but at that age on a railing a toddler isn't going to keep his balance or be able to get down or do anything! Complete negligence on the mothers behalf. God bless that baby boy.

  12. Kristen Cherie Grady-Ibrahim

    Not to mention…where the hell was she when he fell!? I don't care how high it was. I'd have two broken legs but I'd be right in there I top of my kid until the park rescued him. Though the fall may have killed him but still I wouldn't let dogs eat/maul his body.

  13. Erin Zimmerman

    I'm sure this mother already feels devestated and guilty. As parents, we've probably all done things, innocently, that in hindsight we realized could have had tragic consequences. Please, let's be kind to this grieving family.

  14. Hope Jordan

    What is wrong with this mother? If that was my child I would have jumped in there after him, there would have been 2 bodies on the news. That is just ridiculous, and then they blame the animals for acting on instinct, they're wild dogs…that mother should never have put her son on a railing, she could have put him up on her shoulders where he was safe.

  15. Alilly Greco

    The mother should have been shot, not the dog. You know how many people wanted to say it.

  16. Erin Zimmerman

    Didn't know this would end up on my page… I commented after people were making such cruel comments about this baby's mother. It's a heartbreaking tragedy, and I believe this mom needs compassion right now, not a verbal beating. Can only imagine how devestated she feels….so sad.

  17. Lena Broderick

    I cannot imagine, as a mother of three, what the family must be going through. How easy it would be to put the blame on the mother, as most of you seem to cast stones. I pray that none of you find yourself in that position! Maybe it wouldn't kill any of you to show a little decency… respect… compassion. Unless you were there, do not pass judgement. I, of course, would love to say I would be over the edge in a heartbeat (and I would), but there are potentially circumstances you all may not be aware of. It could happen to any of you, no one is perfect, but I pray the zoo will take extra precautions as a result.

  18. Tiana Yeager

    I like how it says 'the boy got too close to the railing'
    No his stupid fuckface of a mother lifted him on top of the railing & took her hands off him.. & he fell in, because she's a fucking idiot bitch.. & the WILD dogs at a zoo full of WILD animals, enclosed by said goddamn railing, that she decided needed to be overlooked… Mauled him. Like WILD fucking animals do.

  19. Anonymous

    I guarentee you there's camera footage.. Obviously no one wants to see it, but it would help folks understand EXACTLY what happened… At the same time why in the hell do Zoo's feel like they need to have killer dogs on display for parents and thier children? Call me old fashioned but when I was a kid the most dangerous thing at the zoo was feeding the goat.. Bottom line is a child died and to blame the mother is absolutely rediculous.. Where was the 5 FT net extention off the wall to catch the boy? Zoo's are run by all sorts of people, but the responsibility falls for this tradgity falls on the person that designed the area..

  20. Jaimie N Tommy

    You should be ashamed of yourself! I could not agree with Erin more! This mom will already be ridiculing herself enough for what has happened! People like YOU are what is wrong with the world today! Have some compassion for others! Oh and I'm sorry whether she put him on the railing or not its pathetic that it is only four foot high!

  21. Mandy Dee Raymond

    I blame both the mother and the zoo. How stupid is the mother for placing the child on the railing? How in the world did her brain come to the conclusion that it is safe and ok to place a child on the railing? I also blame the Zoo. Zoos should always assume that there are stupid people like this child's mother out there, and should take better precautions – such as putting up a large glass window directly next to the railing or a net to break one's fall.

  22. Alilly Greco

    I would say this "mother" is what is "wrong with the world today". Are you kidding me?

  23. Tiana Yeager

    Ahahahahaha. No. She didn't think of her child & what could happen if she wanted to oversee rules, where you can't afford to oversee them. I'm in favor of that poor baby… Not the idiot who Basically set him up. A child of that age doesn't [usually] rise above the 4 foot barrier, (that also had mesh above it) which is why I assume she did put him up on said railing… Hmmmmmm… Who's fault is that??

  24. Jaimie N Tommy

    No one is saying the mother isn't at fault! Yes she should not have put her child on the railing, but the zoo should also take safety measure to make sure the netting is secure to avoid tragedies like this! My comment to you had nothing to do with who us at fault. She is suffering enough and it's sad that people like you have nothing better to do than to bash her on a web page where she cannot even defend herself! Like most people in this world today you are judgemental, have no compassion, and are just plain cruel! The fact that you let those words even come out of your mouth towards a grieving mother who just lost her child show what kind of person you are…whether she innocently put here child on the rail or not I'm sure she never meant for her child to be killed! SMH! People are so nasty!

  25. David N Shari Kerr

    The mother needs to do more than ridicule herself. And compassion for others? What about compassion for the child who has paid the ultimate price for his mothers decision to put him up on a fence over a pen of WILD DOGS. What about compassion for the endangered animal which also lost its life because of her actions? No doubt the mother feels devastated and so she should. Is no one accountable for their actions anymore? The fence was too low so she couldn't help but hoist the boy up onto it without thinking? There isn't a fence high enough to stop someone as stupid as this woman. As far as deserving compassion goes she's not even on the list. Common sense isn't so common anymore. If you can't grasp basic concepts of what is safe and what isn't then you will have to live with the consequences. Unfortunately others may have to live (or in this case die) with the consequences too.

  26. Dave Hughes

    It's absurd that dozens of people were standing there watching and no one jumped in to help…the dogs are 2 ft. tall…anyone could have jumped in and simply kicked the dogs away…they don't weight more than 30 lbs and are afraid of anything larger than them..when in human presence they usually run and scatter even in the wild….and there were only 11 dogs in the enclosure and only a portion of them were attacking..if just 1 guy out of the dozens of people watching would have jumped in and defended the child he could have just suffered injuries from the fall…pathetic on the mothers part and all of the observers for not acting.

  27. Sarah Politowski

    It's so sad, and I do feel horrible for the mother, I'm sure she hates herself right now. But it was a very stupid decision to put him on the railing, and I don't care what anyone says about 'you don't know until you're in the situation…' If it was my son, I would have jumped in there right after him.

  28. Alilly Greco

    Jaimie let's get some stuff straight here. 1. The zoo did take precautions, the netting was secure. It did not break. The mother STOOD the child up on the rail above the netting. 2. She can, in fact, defend herself. This is a public page that accepts public comments. 3. You don't know me. I take care of rescued animals, do dog transports, volunteer for shelters, and donate to animal shelters as well as Crisis shelters for humans. I have 2 children who are taught to love animals and treat them just as well as any human. You telling me that I am what's wrong with this world today is a very judgemental, non-compassionate, cruel thing to say. I am allowed my opinion, and my opinion is that people who are stupid enough to raise a child into a barrier of a wild dog pen at a zoo shouldn't have children in the first place. I have no sympathy for this mother who is stupid enough to do such an asshole thing in the first place. I guarantee that this was a trashy mother who has probably already had incidents with Children and Youth Services. For her to not jump into a pen that was only 11 feet high after her child while she stood there and watched him being mauled by wild dogs tells me what kind of a parent she is which is no parent at all. I'm fed up with watching parents do things like this with their children. So no, I'm not cruel and I'm not judgemental. This was no one's fault but the parents herself. For you to say things about me when you don't know me is hypocritical, when I am allowed to post my opinion on this page just as much as anyone else is. Anything else?

  29. Alilly Greco

    You're probably the 1 in 1,000,000 person who thinks it was okay for Michael Jackson to hang his baby out the window ledge of a 5,000 story building . . . Same idea here.

  30. Alilly Greco

    And if you're the kind of parent that thanks with this parent did was perfectly acceptable, YOU shouldn't have children either!

  31. Anonymous

    War on women my a$$; let's try war on children (or boys?); let's try an epidemic of zero maternal instinct in today's modern "mother", especially among those who cosign on the sympathy bandwagon shown pulled for this retarded mother, whose lack of maternal instinct, or death wish, for her son, compelled her to feed the boy to the dogs. Is it any wonder that even middle class American children are offing themselves in record numbers? God save the children, because a growing number of mommy fools will not.

  32. John Salup

    You're exactly why America is going to pot–honestly, you guys are scum of the earth, particualrly that Alilly bitch. What kind of name is that anyway

  33. Dione Mills-Hickman

    I do not "like" what happened of course but I love what you said Lena<3

  34. Melody Stanley

    He didn't "get too close" and fall. His mother stood him on a railing and stepped back to take a picture. Not surprisingly he lost his balance and fell. The zoo was not negligent and the dogs are wild animals that were properly secured. The mother is solely to blame. She should certainly serve time in prison. True justice would be tossing her into the exhibit.

  35. Alilly Greco

    Bye bye John. Comment like that again and you will be reported :)

  36. Vinny Greco

    John you're the reason America is going to pot. Its people like you that think because this mother lost her child she shouldnt be held accountable for her actions. Any mother that puts her child in harms way is no mother at all. I just visited the zoo the day before this happened and spent quite a bit of time at this exhibit. The railing this child fell off is more than adequate. Being an almost 6' foot male I myself would not be able to get over it without pushing myself up on to it and over. Any parent that would think its a good idea to put a child on a railing over a wild animal pen should NOT have the privledge of raising a child. If a parent was cleaning a loaded gun and accidentally shot thier child you would hold them responsable. This is the same thing. Due to a mothers ignorance a child lost his life. I feel for any parent that loses a child. But to say others are scum because they feel she should be held responsable is absurd. And btw Alilly is a beautiful name thats what kind of name it is. Sorry your parents were so original John you fuckin dumbass.

  37. Jaimie N Tommy

    Um no alternate accounts here. Unlike you I do t need to talk like trash to people I don't even know. Look no one said she wasn't wrong or it wasn't her fault…no one said she shouldn't be help accountable. I simply said you all should be ashamed for the lynch mob you are trying to create! Bottom line is she made a terrible mistake and she lost her child. It's filthy to sit on a web page and bash a complete stranger when something similar could easily happen to you! The Michael Jackson incident was completely different from this! He was an evil person…as are you. I'm sorry your life is so pathetic you have nothing better to do. In the end god will judge you just as he will judge this mother…it was an accident, but your filth IS NOT! Hate is intentional…

  38. John Salup

    Alilly you are honestly a psychopath–you obviously need help. You're just doing this for attention, but too bad you don't realize how pathetic you actually look. C'mon, let's bow down to Alilly–isn't she such a great person, everyone come on. Wouldn't she make such a great mother? (Sarcasm). You are probably a spoiled, self-centred bitch who hasn't ever had to do anything for herself. No, this is Jaimie's account

  39. John Salup

    'isn't Jaimie's account. This is some guy from Canada who was amazed at how self-centred and unable to feel for anyone else you are. Do you think the mom feels good about what happened? Get help before you ruin your life.

  40. Alilly Greco

    Nope it's Jaimie's account. And you two are just as bad as that other parent who stood her child up on that rail.

  41. Alilly Greco

    And clearly YOU TWO are the ones with the mob mentality, as has been proven here.

  42. John Salup

    I shouldn't be so hard on you. You're probably not all that bad, but my God you pissed me off when I read you going on and on and being so hateful and clearly unable to identify with other's suffering.

  43. John Salup

    Just be careful how you speak about people. Maybe try to think that people make mistakes in judgment and stuff. It doesn't mean they deserve to get shot. Mistakes happen all the time. That mother could be the best mother in the world for all you know, better than all our your Nation's leaders combined, and yet made a mistake and will pay for it for the rest of her life—and how do you think it would make her feel if she goes on the internet and sees people calling for her death—probably not very good. I can't understand how people are so black and white—"Oh, she made a mistake and her child died, let's all tie her tubes and then lynch her," which is what you are basically saying. How can you even be a member of society with an attitude like that.

  44. Alilly Greco

    Jamie says she didn't make an alternate account because she doesn't need to talk trash to people she doesn't know. Although that's the only thing she's been doing for the past few hours here on this status. She also says the Michael Jackson incident is totally different and that he's evil. . . . Ok apparently the mother who put her child up on a railing of the wild dog pen is evil. And it is exactly the exact same thing. Exactly. She uses her alternate account to talk about mob mentality, which ironically, is the exact same thing she has been doing here. She also called me judgemental but then makes an alternate account to call me names and cuss at me. Jamie mentions sitting on a webpage and bashing a complete stranger, which is exactly what she's been doing here. John thinks he knows me and says I must not do anything for myself. I'm a stay at home mother of 2 kids. I do animal rescue work, and I take care of the household chores and responsibilities. Clearly this was the case: Jamie had nothing bad to say about me so she had to make some shit up. I'm entitled to my opinion just like everyone else. Just like Jamie and "John", but since it didn't agree with their opinion they had to be bullies and spew hatred.

    The mother in this case deserves to be shot. End of. Jamie and her multiple accounts won't be commenting here anymore, since I blocked them. SHE was the only one here spewing hate. And you didn't see me telling all of my friends how to get on here and bash me like Jamie supposedly did. Although I'm pretty sure it was an alternate account that she herself made. She didn't want to be the only one with her opinion so she needed back-up.

  45. Alilly Greco

    Hey I know! I don't like what someone has to say so let's make fun of her name! Because that doesn't make us bad at all! Let's be hypocrites and jump on the bandwagon together and bully her because she has her own opinion that differs from ours, then turn around and say she's the one with the mob mentality! That makes us really good humans and her a really bad human! Vinny Greco, remember how you asked me the other day what an internet troll is? Jamie and her little buddy John make a perfect. Fucking. Example. The next step a troll usually takes after being blocked or ignored is making another alternate account. So let's sit and wait . . .

  46. Pat Fodor

    y would u hold a 26r old on a frnce. really. there r signs posted everywhere! if someone would have gone in after him it was 11 ft drop u'd b dead to. wher were the. handlers it took 3. mins. for them to respond reall????????

  47. John Salup

    What is wrong with you. She made a mistake. She could have been the best mother in the world, a saint, an angel, whatever, and made one momentary lapse and lost her child and so will suffer deep trauma the rest of her life. Who do you think you are? Are you God? You and all the others on here saying the same, throwing stones and sludge at a women whose entire world just collapsed on her, are really a shining example of all that is worst in mankind—vanity, self-righteousness, projection, inability to forgive people or admit that the world isn't perfect. God, where do you freaks come from.

  48. Vinny Greco

    So jamie n tommy I think u missed the point on the gun yes u could sit dwn to clean a gun that was loaded and it could go off. Yes obviously if u have the gun apart it couldnt be loaded but lets try to have some common sense

  49. John Salup

    I give up on these blamers. You are quite something. I'm glad you feel good throwing further insult to what can only be described as a horrible injury. You honestly can not even comprehend what it would be like to have your two-year-old son ripped apart by wild animals in front of your face, because if you did–and could actually feel compassion for anyone–you would watch that dirty mouth of yours.

  50. Alilly Greco

    She has none. She thinks what this woman did was perfectly acceptable.

  51. Diana Grady

    I agree with Kristen. Anyone that has taken care of a child at that age knows that you do not put them places where they can fall and get hurt. I hope they charge her with child endangerment. Who is speaking up for that poor boy who depended on his parents to keep him safe? Where is his voice?

  52. Sarah Stafford

    Jury's still out on whether or not Michael Jackson was actually a child molester. I'm not convinced. At least he had enough sense not to hang his baby over a pit of wild dogs. I think it's time for Jaimie to "beat it." She's "bad," but I know it's just "human nature." Granted, this issue isn't "black and white."

  53. 'Joanne Avila Basile

    I hope he was. Sad to say, but it eases the pain knowing that he was not alive while he was being attacked. I coudnt imagine. People do stupid things sometimes not thinking of the consequences. The hole incident is heartbreaking.

  54. Ed Smith

    How could you not blame the mother – His mother stood him on a railing and stepped back to take a picture and then the 2/3 year old child fell in. Who in their right mind would put a child in this situation, Lena would you do this with one of your children, or how you feel if your baby sitter did this with one of your children would you be casting a stone in that situation or would you simply say oh well people make mistakes and even though my child is now dead I dont want the sitter to feel bad???

  55. Debe Warren

    Ed Smith You are absolutely right. No one is "casting stones," just speaking the facts. Too many parents don't give a damn about their children and that's why American values have gone to hell.

  56. Debe Warren

    Erin Zimmerman At least she can feel, her poor child lost that ability because of HER.

  57. Darlene Alexander

    me too Kristen, and already it's the poor parents and "their" tradegy. give me a break. stupid, stupid and stupid. try them for child endangerment.

  58. Kristen Cherie Grady-Ibrahim

    Exactly. Everyone's saying how badly she probably feels. Well I would hope so!!!

  59. Mia Kiraly-Hricko

    Sadly, in another article it states that the coroner confirmed that it was not the fall that killed him. There is a safety net below the platform. He fell into it then bounced out into the exhibit. The dogs immediately pounced on him. Makes me sick thinking about it.

  60. Mia Kiraly-Hricko

    The dogs actually weigh between 40-80lbs. They are not like little chihuahuas you can push aside. They hunt in packs and are very fierce. Anyone that had jumped in there would have been torn apart. They jumped on that poor boy immediately. The police were there within minutes and still couldn't get all of them away from the child right away. Not saying that as a mother you wouldn't be inclined to jump in and protect your child, but it probably wouldn't have made a difference in this situation.

  61. Mandy Dee Raymond

    There is no excuse for stupidity. A child is dead because of a mother's negligence and stupidity. My sympathy is not with the mother who should've known better; my sympathy is with the child who died a horrible death being eaten by dogs.

  62. Lana McClure

    Just because those people feel the mother was irresposible doesn't mean they have no compassion for the family !! The mother did a stipid thing & paid the price for sure. But you can't blame the dogs for being the pack hunting animals they are. To stand him on a railing was dangerous, even if she was holding him. Parents, learn from this & protect your own children !!

Around The Web