A two-year-old boy lost his balance and fell over the railings at a Pittsburgh Zoo. He fell into a dog pit full of African wild dogs and was mauled to death by several of them. Zookeepers and police tried to save the boy and shoot down the dogs with darts, but failed to do so. According the workers at the zoo, the African Painted dogs were in pack mentality and were not responding to the ways that people tried to stop them, so their methods became ineffective. Hit the jump
Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Baker said at a news conference shortly after the incident that the child fell over the wooden railing and off of a mesh barrier where the painted dogs were on display. A zoo spokeswoman and police said the wooden railing is 4 feet in height and the lower mesh barrier is 11 feet 4 inches above the open exhibit space.
Lt. Kraus said zoo personnel responded within minutes. The first personnel on scene were able to lure seven of the dogs away from the victim and into a secure and separated area. A second set of personnel began “throwing objects and some other techniques that they use” to secure three more dogs.