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Pittsburgh Zoo Will Remove African Painted Dogs Observation Platform

The district attorney's office said the observation platform of the exhibit will be removed out of respect for the Derkosh family, whose 2-year-old son was mauled to death by the African painted dogs.

The observation platform at the Pittsburgh Zoo from which 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh of Whitehall fell into an African painted dogs exhibit will be removed, according to a spokesman at the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.

"In an effort to facilitate the ongoing review of the circumstances surrounding the death of Maddox Derkosh at the Pittsburgh Zoo, District Attorney (Stephen) Zappala met this morning with Dr. Barbara Baker and the City of Pittsburgh police officers who responded to the scene," said spokesman Mike Manko in an email to reporters.

Maddox was visiting the zoo with his mother on Nov. 4 when he fell from the top of a platform railing to the ground inside of the dogs exhibit and was mauled to death.

"The meeting, which lasted approximately two hours, included a walk-through of the exhibit and was a productive step towards ensuring that this tragedy will not reoccur in the future," Manko said.

"To that end, Dr. Baker advised the district attorney that, out of respect for the community and for the Derkosh family, the observation platform of the exhibit at issue would be removed."

ella December 12, 2012 at 04:57 AM
I'm a bit disappointed by this decision, though I respect that it was not easy for anyone to make. I don't cast a blame on the Derkosh family or on the zoo; this was a very tragic accident. However, I think it would be wrong to rob other people of the privilege to see these majestic animals in one of the few places in the United States where they are kept. I sincerely hope that a safe visitor area is constructed so that we can continue to respectfully appreciate this endangered species.

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