The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 4, 2012

Boy killed in fall, mauling at Pa. zoo exhibit

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PITTSBURGH —

The dogs normally live in a 1.5 acre exhibit called the Painted Dog Bush Camp that’s part of a larger open area called the African Savanna, 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 railing is located. Visitors can look out at the dogs below. The mesh barrier is below the railing.

In May, some of the dogs crawled under a fence and escaped into a part of the exhibit that’s usually closed. The zoo was on lockdown for about an hour as a precaution.

Ten African painted dogs were born at the zoo in 2009, and their mother died of a ruptured uterus shortly after delivering the litter. Five of the pups survived. The mortality rate for painted pups is 50 percent, even when born in the wild to a healthy mother.

It was only the second litter to be hand-raised in captivity, along with one in the United Kingdom, zoo officials said at the time.

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