African Painted Dogs Exhibit Now A Memorial
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The zoo reopened to the public Tuesday, but the area where 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh fell into the African painted dogs exhibit has been cordoned off and the dogs are in quarantine for 30 days.
The area where Derkosh fell Sunday has been blocked off to the public.
Flowers hang on the bamboo fencing, bouquets of flowers lay below, as well as candles.
It is now a memorial, the attraction is no longer the African dogs, but the site where Derkosh died after falling off a wooden railing into the exhibit.
He was then attacked and killed by the animals.
Jeff Barker said he did not know the Derkosh family, but lives just a few streets away from them in White Hall.
“Just walking by here you think about what happened 48 hours ago and it’s hard to believe, really…very hard,” Barker said.
Some took pictures of the area, others took in the memorial — many came to visit with their children.
KDKA’s Brenda Waters asked one mom if she explained what had happened at the zoo to her children.
“Yep, we are about ready to finish our conversation,” Joann Vaughn of Mt. Lebanon said.
“We saw it on the news, yep, you saw it on the news,” she said to her child.
Police and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium continue to investigate the death of Derkosh.
“I don’t think it’s the dogs’ fault,” Irwin resident Jimiline Gravante said. “I don’t think it’s the parents’ fault, sometimes you just don’t think and unfortunately something happened.”
This is the first day the zoo has been open to the public since the tragic accident Sunday.
The zoo was somewhat empty Tuesday, which is said to be unusual for this time of year or day of the week.