PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Zoo has reopened two days after a toddler was mauled after falling into an exhibit with wild dogs.
There are somber reminders of the tragedy throughout the zoo.
Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is now conducting their own internal investigation, but felt it necessary to reopen today to allow visitors the opportunity to pay their respects.
On a cold November morning, there was a quiet over the grounds with few visitors at the zoo, which opened two days after the mauling death of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh.
A small memorial of flowers, an angel figurine and teddy bear rested against the gates of the African painted dogs’ exhibit, which is now closed until further notice.
“It’s the worst nightmare as a zoo professional,” Dr. Barbara Baker said.
There was undeniable somberness of the staff at the zoo, who placed two wreaths at the front gates of the exhibit, leading to the observation deck from where Maddox fell.
“All of us are moms here, dads here. We feel so much and our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this little boy,” Dr. Baker said.
The dogs will not be euthanized, but are now under quarantine at the zoo. Late Monday afternoon, zoo officials began their internal investigation. On top of a re-inspection by the USDA, a detailed report must be given to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
“They will begin also to look at the incident to see if there was anything that could have been done,” Dr. Baker said.
The dogs will be under quarantine for 30 days and the future of the exhibit is still undetermined.