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Letter to the Editor
Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

I am disappointed that some on staff at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium decided to continue distributing their 2013 calendar, which features African painted dogs, after Maddox Derkosh was horrifically mauled to death by them. While half of the calendars were distributed before this shocking incident, I do not think it was necessary to continue the distribution afterward.

What were they thinking? I realize those in the zoological community work tirelessly to protect and provide for species and to educate us about them. However, I cannot believe that these respected professionals weren't able to step into the shoes of the Derkosh family and see a bigger picture of hurt and disbelief that has touched our Pittsburgh community.

When they were discussing this decision, were they not able to think beyond the objectivity of animals and animal behavior and their professional duty to care for them? Not only do I not want to see the African painted dogs in the zoo calendar, I no longer want to see them at our zoo.

I can't imagine that there is one Pittsburgher who wants to visit our zoo in the near future and gaze upon the dogs in a new and improved exhibit. How can anyone look at them without remembering the horror of Maddox's death? Allow another zoo to care for them! Please be more sensitive about this tragedy.

Samantha Routh

Mt. Lebanon

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