Child Mauled To Death By 11 African Dogs At Pittsburgh Zoo

Sun, November 4, 2012 4:46pm EST by 46 Comments
Pittsburgh Zoo Accident
Courtesy of Wikipedia

A 2-year-old boy was killed by 11 painted African dogs after he fell into their pen at the Pittsburgh Zoo — how tragic.

Tragedy struck at the Pittsburgh Zoo on Nov. 4 as a child was killed by a pack of African dogs. Zookeepers failed to lure the pack of endangered species away from the helpless boy.

“The screams just kept coming and coming: ‘Someone help. Someone has to do something,'” Angela Cinti, 20, of Bethel Park, who was visiting the zoo today with her boyfriend Nick Kramer, 16, told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Baker said the child was visiting the zoo with his mother when he fell over a wooden railing and off of a mesh barrier, entering the African dog display. According to the report, the wooden railing is 4 feet high and the lower mesh barrier is 14 feet above the open exhibit space.

Zookeepers removed 7 out of the 11 dogs from the exhibit as the child’s life remained in danger. The staff continued to shoot darts into the exhibit in hopes of scaring the dogs, but, “unfortunately, the dogs were in pack mentality and not responding.”

“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,” said Angela.

The incident is under investigation by police and the zoo.

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Shasta

Posted at 2:44 PM on November 6, 2012  

I feel so bad for this beautiful little boy. I know that the mother made a terrible mistake putting this little guy up on the railing there is no doubt about that. However, she has not been the only person that has done this. My husband and I were just at the Pittsburg Zoo three months ago and you wouldn’t believe how many people were doing the same thing as she did. I remember saying to my husband “wow I can’t belive they have their kids up there”. So, if I saw at least three parents doing that same thing within five mins of standing there I am betting it happens alot more then we realize. The zoo should have realized this and known better then to have it open in the front. It should have been fenced off in the front or something to prevent this sort of thing from happening. There were other places that weren’t very safe were someone could have fallen in. I understand the mother made a bad choice but, I feel the zoo should also be held accountable. I will keep his family in my prayers this would be so hard for any parent. Just knowing you made a mistake that cost your child.

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retty

Posted at 1:31 AM on November 6, 2012  

I agree with some other comments,these animals are not meant to be in a zoo, in the wild they tend to shy away from humans but these have apparently learned not to fear them. It is a terrible tragedy and certainly NOT the mother’s fault, a lot of things could have been done to avoid this, like a completely caged off area, I know no words of much comfort for a mother who has to bury her own child.

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KKK

Posted at 7:38 AM on November 6, 2012  

Of course it’s the mother’s fault. She lifted the child to the fence.

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Laurie

Posted at 1:09 AM on November 6, 2012  

Stanley – you need not comment that what I did was pretty dumb…my kids are still alive and thriving, so STFU. I would NEVER have done anything to harm them…that’s what I said!

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Grace

Posted at 12:27 AM on November 6, 2012  

it makes me so sad to just read about this.. my best wishes and prayers for the family. poor little innocent boy.

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erco

Posted at 2:01 PM on November 5, 2012  

3 boy is dead are how it got there!!!

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guest

Posted at 11:51 AM on November 5, 2012  

It is not even confirmed yet that the dogs actually caused the toddler’s death….they are doing an autopsy to determine if he actually died due to the fall. The dogs are an endangered species so according to the law they cannot be legally killed. Sad disaster – hopefully others will learn from this and WILL NOT put their little ones on the rail.

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carol

Posted at 8:10 AM on November 5, 2012  

All women do not have a strong maternal instinct and find out too late how much sacrifice goes into being a mother…especially if the child is untrained, not taught right from wrong and allowed to run wild. I used to teach in school and believe me..kids today are violent and want to do anything and everything. They climb ,throw and jump. Even a tree year old who h;as not been shown behaviour appropriate, will create chaos just for the attention and fun of it.

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Dave

Posted at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2012  

good thing you are not a teacher anymore – you can’t spell.

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shelly

Posted at 6:13 AM on November 5, 2012  

More like mom makes it look like an accident, pushes kid in… easy, fairly easy out. She just didnt want to take care of the kid anymore

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Laurie

Posted at 12:08 AM on November 5, 2012  

I have had my kids on those railings also, when they were little, but only if I was HOLDING ONTO THEM FOR DEAR LIFE, and not if the animals were anywhere close in case they would jump up…parents need to be more vigilant!

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Stanley

Posted at 3:18 PM on November 5, 2012  

I’m sorry but what you did was pretty dumb too.

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gg

Posted at 11:22 PM on November 4, 2012  

many people put their children on the railing but it seem the dogs are 2 dangerous

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Brittany

Posted at 11:07 PM on November 4, 2012  

As a parent I cannot believe that people are bashing this poor mother like it’s her fault! I have taken my daughter to the zoo and had her on railings! It’s a freak accident that could happen to anyone, even a parent completely receptive to all surroundings! This poor mother and family in general!

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KKK

Posted at 7:39 AM on November 6, 2012  

Well you are stupid too if you endanger your children like that. You should take parenting a bit more seriously.

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rachel s.

Posted at 10:54 PM on November 4, 2012  

This is so sick. I can’t believe this could happen. How tragic.

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Kandle

Posted at 10:16 PM on November 4, 2012  

First of all… THOSE ANIMALS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE IN A ZOO!!!
Second… It’s really sad that it happened and I send my thoughts to the family.

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Diana

Posted at 9:55 PM on November 4, 2012  

It is terrible what happened, she shouldn’t put the child up, it can always happen that you don’t hold the child hard enough and it slips, very sad :(
But what’s with all you people and the 20 years old dating 16 years old? I am 33 and i date 16 year olds, like many of my friends, but thank god i don’t live in such a hypocratic country as u.s.a. so no one cares, if both people like it it’s okay.

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serena

Posted at 1:00 PM on November 5, 2012  

you’re disgusting , they could be your kids ! you’re messed up , date people your age and leave poor 16 years old guys alone !

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Dylan

Posted at 6:52 PM on November 5, 2012  

I agree with you, Diana. Thank God YOU DON’T live in the U.S.A.

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Sabra

Posted at 9:31 PM on November 4, 2012  

As a mother I would have jumped in after my baby,Forget waiting for help. Sounds to me like someone wasn’t watching her son very well. Just so terrible,I don’t understand.

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janpots

Posted at 10:35 PM on November 4, 2012  

Well said Sabra another person fit to be a mother thank goodness

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Aim

Posted at 10:36 PM on November 4, 2012  

I completely agree with you. This probably happened because she was distracted by her much younger boyfriend and not her child. So sad that a child has to suffer because of a parent’s carelessness.

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tiki

Posted at 9:10 AM on November 5, 2012  

ffs It was a 34 year old married mom. the 20 year old just witness it.

 
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janpots

Posted at 8:59 PM on November 4, 2012  

THEY ARE NOT HYENA’S THEY’RE AFRICAN DOGS GOOGLE HYENA

well I don’t care what anyone else says if you had a child you’d do the same as me. would have thown myself in there growling shouting like a lightening ball the adrenaline would be pumping. if lots of people had clambored in there and out numbered the animals
shame on the humans there outsmarted by 11 medium sized dogs
every person there should have gotten into their den to out number them
a whistle hairspray throwing a jacket over one’s head it would soon let go forcing it’s head down the sleeve.
I wouldn’t be on the side shouting help while a baby was screaming because it was being torn to death anyones baby.
f the screaming went on for that long where was everyone … looking for a rake to bang on the ground. He was supposed to throw his body over the baby while others helped. eleive me a pack of dogs are rerrified of a pack of humans together.
‘m ashamed they allowed that child to die the worst death imaginable

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Stanley

Posted at 3:26 PM on November 5, 2012  

You’re right. The incident seemed to have lasted about 5 minutes. Way too long to just stand there and scream. Shame on the mother for being stupid in the first place, and shame on her again for being a coward. As for the onlookers, they too should have jumped in. 14 feet isn’t that high, especially since there is the netting to break your fall somewhat. You only need to distract the dogs long enough until zoo personnel get on the scene. Of course it’s easy to say that. You’ll never know how you will react to a situation unless you’re in it. However if it was my kid there is no way i wouldn’t have jumped in.

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Mike

Posted at 5:30 PM on November 5, 2012  

It was 4 ft from the railing to the net and then another 14 ft to the ground, so that is 18 ft, even if you hung from the railing and dropped you would still have over 12 ft to fall. So if people would have jumped into the pit, you would have had some deaths and much more damage as 11 dogs in a pack in the attack mode would have ripped everyone to shreds. It is a shame this happened but it did, so hopefully it won’t happen again

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Liza

Posted at 8:46 PM on November 4, 2012  

The life la a person is much more valuable that the life of an animal, why the ppl of the zoo didnt kill the dogs, they protected them instead of saving the little kids life. In which kind of world we are living?? The mom had a misjudment of the danger, but the zoo workers had the power of save the boy and they didnt do it. My payers for his family

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Stanley

Posted at 3:28 PM on November 5, 2012  

The only fault in this incident lies on the Mother. They did kill one of the dogs. They didn’t kill the others because there was no need to. Besides it’s not like every zoo employee carries around a loaded gun. This is 100% the mother’s fault.

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linda

Posted at 8:24 PM on November 4, 2012  

@Mel, I think we are all aware of that, however,
We still want to know why a twenty year old is at a Zoo with her 16 year old boyfriend!!! OMG!! Where is his MOTHER? what is the world coming to??
On another note, I pray for the mother of this child, her heart is broken stop bashing her. Don’t you think she has endured enough?? Enough already!!

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kiminminn

Posted at 8:01 PM on November 4, 2012  

So this stupid stupid woman put her child up on the fence? SHE caused his death. I have been to zoos and there are multiple barriers and signs not to get too close. I hurt for the child — but if his mother had not been so STUPID this would not have happened.

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mel

Posted at 7:50 PM on November 4, 2012  

The 20 year old wasn’t the mother people….she was just someone the Pittsburgh Post gazette interviewed… Learn to comprehend what you read before making comments.

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sarah

Posted at 8:15 PM on November 4, 2012  

really what type of zoo is this .. where was the supervision .. hello a little childs life was in danger and instead of shooting the dogs they were shooting elsewhere to scare them but then police officers shoot directly to human beings..

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Stanley

Posted at 3:36 PM on November 5, 2012  

The Police did shoot one of the dogs. The other dogs probably weren’t killed because there was no need. If they left the child alone right away when Police and zoo personnel got there, why needlessly kill them? That mother is to blame here. Gross negligence. This woman should never be allowed to have another child.

 
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anonymous

Posted at 7:21 PM on November 4, 2012  

that’s a devistating it’s all the mothers fault don’t keep a child next to rail and yea what’s with 20 year old having a 16 year old boyfriend.

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Violator

Posted at 7:17 PM on November 4, 2012  

African dog is just a euphemism for Hyena – we have the same types of dogs you have. Condolences to the family on their loss. Arrest that 20 year old adult women going out with a child

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sophieee 123

Posted at 8:29 PM on November 4, 2012  

The 20 yr girl was not the child’s mother it was a girl that was there..but why did the mother put her child on a fence when there was wild creatures under it?!?!?! And I think that the zookeepers didint shoot the dogs because is an ” endengared species” but is still a little boys life at risk… As for why the 20 yr old girl was with a 16 yr old boy I don’t know!!! Poor little boy!!

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janpots

Posted at 9:06 PM on November 4, 2012  

African dog is just a euphemism for Hyena
eh
what are you talking about making sweeping statements as if your more knowledgeable the us
they are not Hyena’s they are African dogs Google it

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Laura

Posted at 6:32 PM on November 4, 2012  

Horrible story. But why werent the parents watching the child? This could have been avoided. My prayers go to the family and the poor soul lost that day.

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rodan

Posted at 5:57 PM on November 4, 2012  

Real sad story… but what’s with the 20 year old having a 16 year old boyfriend?

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Christopher Rogers

Posted at 6:25 PM on November 4, 2012  

I wondered that too.

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Shelly

Posted at 5:51 PM on November 4, 2012  

OMG…what a heartbreaking story. What can you say, what can you say behind this? My prayers go out to the family.

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tiki

Posted at 8:13 PM on November 4, 2012  

and looking into a place other then hollywoodlife, they say it was a 34 year old mother who put her child up on the railing. so there ya go

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