The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 5, 2012

Boy killed in fall, mauling at Pennsylvania zoo exhibit

PITTSBURGH — A young boy visiting the Pittsburgh zoo with his mother and friends was killed Sunday when he somehow got over a railing and then fell about 14 feet into an exhibit that’s home to a pack of African painted dogs, who pounced on the boy and mauled him, zoo officials said.

It was not clear whether the child, who was 2 years old, died from the fall or the attack, said Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Zoo officials and police were trying to determine how the child got over the railing, which is about 4 to 5 feet high, then apparently fell off a mesh barrier and into the exhibit.

When the boy fell, other visitors immediately told staff members, who responded along with Pittsburgh police.

Zookeepers called off the dogs, and seven of them immediately went to a back building. Three more eventually were drawn away from the boy, but the last dog wouldn’t come into the building, and police had to shoot the animal, Baker said.

“It’s clear that the dogs did attack the child, but whether he died of the attack or the fall has yet to be determined,” Baker said.

The dogs are about as big as medium-sized domestic dogs, 2 to 2 1/2 feet high and 37 to 80 pounds, according to the zoo.

African wild dogs are also known as cape hunting dogs, spotted dogs and painted wolves. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes and are considered endangered.

Police and the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office were investigating. Baker said the zoo, which has never had a visitor death, plans an internal investigation, and no decision has been made yet on the future of the exhibit.

The dogs normally live in a 1.5 acre exhibit called the Painted Dog Bush Camp that’s part of a larger open area called the African Savanna, where elephants, lions and other animals can be seen.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Oklahoma City Memorial Bombing museum gets tech boost

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A memorial and museum built to remember the worst act of domestic terrorism on American soil is in the midst of a $7 million upgrade so it can better portray how different the world was when Timothy McVeigh blew up the ...

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Is Okla. backing off accountability?

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal....

    April 19, 2014

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Gaylord to get $35,000 grant for poverty project

    A team from Gaylord College is among the first winners in a national competition to fund innovative news experiments that serve communities, the Online News Association has announced....

    April 19, 2014

  • U.S. puts off pipeline decision

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely....

    April 19, 2014

  • Garage sale to benefit Team Jamie’s Crew set

    A garage sale to benefit Team Jamie’s Crew will start at 9 a.m. today at 1510 Melrose Drive....

    April 19, 2014

  • Sonic plans expansion

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma-based Sonic Corp. plans to open 1,000 new drive-in restaurants nationwide over the next 10 years, expanding the chain by about 30 percent, the company said....

    April 19, 2014

  • Singing Sooners show set

    The University of Oklahoma School of Music presents the Singing Sooners Spring Show at 8 p.m. Friday, April 25 in the Sharp Concert Hall, Catlett Music Center. Jim Graves and Stephen Ziegler serve as directors for the group....

    April 19, 2014

  • Study: Half of jailed youths have injury

    NEW YORK — About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City’s jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that’s the latest in a growing body of ...

    April 19, 2014