Mom avoids charges after zoo dogs kill son

2012-11-29 11:01

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A prosecutor declined to bring criminal charges against the mother of a 2-year-old boy who was killed after falling into a pit of wild dogs and mauled at the Pittsburgh Zoo, but he said on Wednesday he was still determining whether the zoo was at fault.

"I haven't found anything to indicate any crime was committed by the mother," Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala told a news conference. He called the death a "tragic accident".

Maddox Derkosh was killed almost immediately after he fell over the railing of an exhibit of African painted dogs and was attacked by 11 of the animals.

His mother, Elizabeth Derkosh, aged 34, had lifted him on top of the railing to give the boy with poor eyesight a better view. Holding him by the waist, she lost control, Zappala said. The child may have believed there was a Plexiglas barrier as he appeared to lunge forward, the prosecutor said.

Zookeepers rushed to the exhibit area housing the animals, firing darts to frighten them away, but it was too late. One dog that was particularly aggressive was killed.

Zappala said he was still investigating whether the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium might be culpable of negligence, manslaughter or endangering welfare of children because of the design of the exhibit.

"I have reached one conclusion and that is we are going to work together, with the zoo and with these administrative and regulatory agencies, and we're going to do as best we can to prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again," Zappala said.

African painted dogs are endangered and native to sub-Saharan Africa, according to the National Geographic website. They are also known as Cape hunting dogs because of their mottled coats with patches of red, black, brown, white and yellow fur.

Read more on:    us  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 facts about swimming you didn't know

This will make you want to jump right into the pool.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Inspiring: Rock climbing with just one leg
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Industrial Engineer

West Coast
BRO Resourcing
R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Investment Analyst

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Johannesburg
R350 000 - R450 000 Per Year

Assistant Store Manager

Somerset West
Helderberg Personnel cc
R9 000 - R10 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big thing....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.