A toddler was killed following a mauling from African painted dogs at Pittsburgh zoo.
Zoos are usually associated with family fun. However, one recent report connects a zoo visit with an unthinkable tragedy.
A young boy fell approximately 14 feet at the Pittsburgh zoo, landing into an exhibit area for African painted dogs. The pack of wild animals began mauling the toddler.
Within minutes zoo workers responded by ‘throwing objects’ and firing “dummy tranquilizer rounds’ to move and secure the animals in a different area. One of the dogs was fatally shot when it continued to show aggressiveness towards the child. EMT's arrived, but tragically, the toddler had already passed away.
The boy’s mother had reportedly placed her son in a standing position on the railing and he immediately lost his balance. Police are investigating the incident and the zoo remains closed indefinitely.
African painted dogs are usually the size of an average-sized domestic canine, weighing between 40 and 80 pounds. The dogs, which are native to the plains of sub-Saharan Africa are labeled as endangered species.
They only possess four toes on each foot and are sometimes called Cape hunting dogs or painted wolves.