As a frequent visitor to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, I was outraged to hear that the parents of Maddox Derkosh are still trying to blame the zoo for the death of their son. While no child-neglect laws were mentioned in the news story “Records at issue in Pittsburgh Zoo death suit” (Aug. 6 and TribLIVE.com), child neglect was the case in the death of the young boy.
You cannot blame the African painted dogs for what they did. They are wild animals; it is in their nature to hunt and kill for their food. The viewing platform that the boy fell from is also where the dogs were fed from on a daily basis.
According to Barbara Baker, zoo president and CEO, the African painted dog exhibit had been inspected many times, for safety and for the welfare of the animals, over the past six years. The zoo passed all inspections.
It is very sad that a tragedy like this happened. It is also very sad to have members of one of the most beautiful and endangered species taken from the zoo for something that was not even their fault.
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