The story is haunting, devastating, nightmarish–a little boy is killed when he falls into a wild dog exhibit.
I grieve for the family.
And I say we must treat this as a preventable death.
There should have been a secondary safety barrier between the railing and the ground.
Any able bodied adult attending the exhibit should have immediately called 911 and alerted zoo officials.
And yes, we ordinary citizens need to expect that it is our job to insert ourselves between a baby and a pack of wild dogs.
I know I am asking for heroism. And I know this is a rare occurrence (thank God)–but one we must examine closely.
The wiki link above says that these dogs have an 80-90% kill rate. 2/3rds higher than lions. They hunt in communicating packs and will run prey down. They are extremely aggressive and work together.
And here is the terrible irony–these dogs were raised by an ordinary domesticated dog. The Pittsburgh zoo brought her in to nurse the wild pups in 2009.
They were raised in that zoo.
Did the zoo cultivate their predatory hunting skills? I don’t know.
But I do know that they are deadly. The wild African dogs hunt to sustain the life of their pack.
Human predators have no such excuse for the terrible things they do.
To keep our kids safe we must educate ourselves about the animals that live so close to defenseless children.
My prayers remain with this little one’s family.