“Sorry some post’s are late, still playing catch up. This is so very tragic, R.I.P little one.”

A 2-year-old boy who fell into an exhibit of African wild dogs was killed by the animals, not the fall, the president of the Pittsburgh Zoo said Monday, adding a horrific coda to a tragedy that has devastated staff and shocked patrons.

A 2-year-old boy who fell into an exhibit of African wild dogs was killed by the animals, not the fall, the president of the Pittsburgh Zoo said Monday, adding a horrific coda to a tragedy that has devastated staff and shocked patrons.

The boy’s mother had picked him up and put him on top of a railing at the edge of a viewing deck late Sunday morning when he lost his balance and fell, said Barbara Baker, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. There was a safety net below the railing, but it failed to catch him and the boy dropped more than 10 feet into the enclosure, she said.

“The child was so small that he bounced. He bounced twice and then he bounced into the exhibit,” said Baker, tearing up at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The animals attacked the child so violently and quickly that by the time a veterinarian and other zoo staffers arrived seconds later, they determined it would have been futile to try rescuing the boy, she said.

Baker said she had been informed by the Allegheny County medical examiner that an autopsy determined the boy survived the plunge. The medical examiner’s office has not yet publicly confirmed its findings or released the boy’s name.

The African painted dogs are about as big as medium-sized domestic dogs, about 37 to 80 pounds, according to the zoo. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes and are considered endangered.

The attack happened in a 1.5-acre exhibit called the Painted Dog Bush Camp that’s part of a larger open area where elephants, lions and other animals can be seen. Visitors walk onto a deck that is glassed on the sides, but open in front where the roughly four-foot railing is located.

The zoo was immediately closed after the accident but was expected to reopen Tuesday.

Video & News Link:http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019608495_apuspittsburghzoochildkilled.html

THE ‘PAINTED WOLF‘: THE MOST POWERFUL BITE OF ANY CARNIVORE

Wild Dogs

The African wild dog is an endangered species which typically roams the open plains and sparse woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa.

The dog’s Latin name Lycaon pictus means ‘painted wolf’ because of the animal’s patchy colored coat of red, black, brown, white and yellow fur, each with their own unique pattern.

These dogs are very social, and packs have been known to share food and to assist weak or ill members. In fact after a successful hunt, the dogs regurgitate meat for those that remained at the den.

They hunt in packs of six to 20 and despite their small size they prey on large animals like antelopes and wildebeests.

They kill the larger prey by disemboweling, a technique that is rapid but has caused this species to have a negative, ferocious reputation.

They are often hunted and killed by farmers who fear for their domestic animals and are susceptible to diseases spread by domestic animals.

Its large teeth allow it to consume a lot of bone in the same way a hyena does and it has a bite force quotient – BFQ, the strength of bite relative to the animal’s mass –  measured at 142, the highest of any carnivore, except for the Tasmanian devil.

They are extremely aggressive and nearly 80 per cent of their hunts end in a kill – as opposed to a lion with a success rate of just 30 percent.

There were once approximately 500,000 African wild dogs in 39 countries, and packs of 100 or more were not uncommon. Now there are only about 3,000-5,500 in fewer than 25 countries

Link:- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227757/Pittsburgh-zoo-death-Maddox-Derkosh-mauled-death-African-wild-dogs-mother-dangles-railings.html#ixzz2BOOM65ew
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