PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Mayor of Pittsburgh is calling for changes at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium following the mauling death of a young boy over the weekend when he fell into an exhibit.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says the boy’s death at the African Painted Dogs exhibit is unacceptable and he wants something to be done.
“Regardless of who’s at fault, regardless if it’s an accident, it’s unacceptable for something like that to happen, and we need to make sure that in the future it doesn’t,” Mayor Ravenstahl said.
Mayor Ravenstahl says this tragedy cannot happen again. The death of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh is a horrible accident, but he says there has to be change at the zoo.
“To think that that can happen to a 2-year-old child is really something I think we all have an obligation to sit down and figure out, leave our egos at the door, and make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else,” he added.
On Sunday, the 2-year-old was mauled to death by the African Painted Dogs. Apparently, he fell out of his mother’s arms and into the exhibit. It happened in front of several witnesses.
Witness Josh Bloom: “It appeared to me that the boy was in a bracing position.”
KDKA’s Marty Griffin: “He was trying to protect himself.”
Bloom: “That’s what it appeared.”
Bloom, Pittsburgh attorney, saw the accident. He says he saw the boy with his arms over his head.
Bloom also says that he is angered by the zoo’s response.
“I was there. I was around a whole group of people that were screaming for help,” he said. “If it was true that there was a professional there who immediately responded, we wouldn’t have needed to continue to yell, so that is not possible.”
The zoo says it had staff at the exhibit within seconds, but Bloom says he did not see them.
“If I would say that it was an inadequate response, that is a severe understatement,” he said.
Meanwhile, zoo officials say Bloom’s statements are not accurate.
They say they had a keeper in the pathway 10 feet away. They also said they had a keeper in the building who got seven dogs out of the exhibit.
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