A young boy fell into an African painted dog [African wild dog or painted wolf] exhibit at a Pittsburgh zoo and was mauled to death by the wild animals, zoo officials said.
The child, about 3 years old, was with his mother visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium when he somehow fell from a 14-foot-high observation deck into the exhibit at about 11:45 a.m. He was immediately attacked by several dogs and died, zoo President and CEO Barbara Baker said.
The zoo quickly moved visitors into buildings as animal keepers tried to coax the dogs into an off-exhibit area. Many of the 11 dogs in the exhibit moved away immediately, and several others were scared away from the child by the zookeepers. A remaining dog would not leave the child, and a Pittsburgh police officer shot the animal.
It’s a pretty sad story.
African wild dogs don’t normally attack people, but these are zoo animals that are in very unnatural conditions.
A little kid falling into the exhibit could stimulate a predatory response, as it likely could from under-socialized packs of domestic dogs.