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Pittsburgh Zoo Blames Mother For Tragic Death Of Her 2-Year-Old Boy

Thu, September 12, 2013 1:50pm EDT by Kristine Kowalski 30 Comments
Pittsburgh Zoo Death
Courtesy Photos

A darling little boy died in a tragic accident at the Pittsburgh Zoo after his mom held him up on the railing and he fell into a pit of wild dogs. After the terrible ordeal, the boy’s family sued the zoo for damages, and now the zoo says the mother’s to blame!

Maddox Derkosh, 2, was killed by wild African dogs after falling into their enclosure at the Pittsburgh Zoo in Pennsylvania on Nov. 4, 2012. The zoo has determined that Maddox’s mother, Elizabeth Derkosh is responsible for her son’s tragic death, and that she should not be allowed to sue for damages.

Pittsburgh Zoo Death — Boy’s Mauling Is Mother’s Fault

The Pittsburgh Zoo claims that Maddox’s mother put her son in danger when she lifted him up to stand on a 4 foot tall railing to see the painted African dogs exhibit.

After hitting the zoo with a lawsuit for damages after their son’s death, the zoo is responding by saying that the Derkosh family is to blame.

In a court filing, the zoo said the tragic accident was “caused solely by the carelessness, negligence and/or recklessness of Elizabeth Derkosh,” reports The Daily Mail.

“The zoo’s position is dead wrong and shameful,” the family’s attorney, Robert Mongeluzzi, said in a statement on Sept. 11. He also explained that the boy wore glasses and had vision problems, which is why his mother held him up on the railing to see the dogs better. The mom was not charged following the accident.

2-Year-Old Boy Mauled By Wild Dogs After Falling Into Zoo Exhibit

The boy fell 14 feet down into the exhibit, but it was determined that he died from the injuries he sustained after the dogs pounced on him — not the fall itself. Though zoo workers tried desperately to tear the dogs off of him, they could not. “Very unfortunately, in this situation, the dogs were doing what the dogs would normally do,” Zoo President Dr. Barbara Baker said during a press conference from the Pittsburgh Zoo on Nov. 5.

“We discourage people from letting their children sit on the railing … this is a horrible, horrible tragedy —  but the zoo has been here since 1898, and this is the first time we’ve had any type of visitor injury,” she said at the time.

What do YOU think of this outcome, HollyMoms?

WATCH: Pittsburgh Zoo Blames Mother Of Boy Who Died In African Painted Dogs Exhibit
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— Kristine Hope Kowalski

More Pittsburgh Zoo Incident News:

  1. Child Killed By African Dogs At Zoo Died In Several Agonizing Minutes
  2. Child Mauled To Death By 11 African Dogs At Pittsburgh Zoo
  3. Mom Of Toddler Killed By Wild Dogs Won’t Be Prosecuted