A group of African painted dogs at the the Pittsburgh Zoo mauled a 2-year-old boy to death Sunday morning after he accidentally fell into the exhibit, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The boy's mother lifted him on top of a railing, approximately 4 feet high, to give the boy a better view when he lost his balance and fell more than 10 feet into an exhibit containing 11 wild dogs, the Chicago Tribune and USA Today. A netting is in place to protect anyone against falling, but the boy was so small, he ricocheted off the net and into the exhibit, USA Today said. An autopsy showed the attack, not the fall, is what ultimately killed the boy, USA Today said.
The animals immediately attacked the boy, so once zoo staff arrived, there was nothing that could be done, the Chicago Tribune said. Staff fired tranquilizers at the dog, but one of the dogs was shot and killed because it would not leave the body of the boy, USA Today said.
The dogs were quarantined, but no other dogs have been put to death, USA Today said.
The zoo was closed immediately after the accident on Sunday and for the day Monday, but it is expected to open on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune said.