Wild Dogs Killing Your Child at a Zoo Is Something No Parent Should Ever Experience

Heartbreaking 29

african painted dogsThe incredibly tragic death of a 2-year-old boy attacked by wild dogs after falling from a zoo exhibit railing in Pittsburgh is, literally, a parent's worst nightmare. Scratch that, it's worse than a parent's worst nightmare. I cannot even bring myself to fathom the horror of watching one of my kids being ripped to shreds by a pack of 11 "painted" African dogs. And as a mom, I've managed to fathom some pretty horrific things -- no matter how hard I try to block the disturbing, headline-inspired images out.

I honestly think that if I were Maddox Derkosh's mom, I would have to be lobotomized in order to go on living. And the latest details make this already unimaginably terrible accident even harder to accept.

There was a small -- miniscule -- part of me that was sort of hoping this poor little boy died from the impact of his fall, before the dogs got to him. His loss would be no less tragic under those circumstances, of course, but at least we could tell ourselves he didn't experience that violent and painful attack.

But that's not what happened. Apparently little Maddox was killed by the dogs, not the fall -- after his mother actually placed him on the railing. For a better look.

Good lord, I can't even breathe when I think about how easily this could have happened to ANY parent. And how long did the attack last?! Further recently released details revealed zoo officials responded by shooting one of the dogs so they could get closer to the boy -- how long was that child in agony?

One thing is for sure, sadly -- his mother's agony is just beginning. Like I said, I honestly think I would have to be lobotomized to go on living in anything like this ever happened to one of my kids. Please god, please don't ever let anything like this happen to one of my kid

Can you imagine experiencing something like this as a parent?


Image via Benjamin Hollis/Flickr

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cmjaz cmjaz

Very terrible thing to happen. My heart goes out to the mom. I would not wish any mistake I ever made, to cost the life of my child

MokaM... MokaMommy

This is horrible. I wanted to say why did she put her child on the railing, but this is too tragic for judgement... Just so sad.

Carmen Martin

Normally I'm quick to point out negligent parenting and judge, but I just can't this time.  For such an innocent event to turn this violent... I can't even imagine this poor woman's pain.  It's unbelievable.  I feel so bad for her to have to witness that. 

Leticia Dominguez

What a horrible accident. If I was in that situation I would have jumped over with him and died trying to fight off those dogs! So sorry this Mom has to remember this image for the rest of her life. :(

kelti... kelticmom

Not to speak badly of his mom, I cannot imagine what she is going through, but if that was my son, I would have jumped in after him and either tried to throw him up to the people above, or cover him with my body and let the dogs have me, because I cannot imagine living in a world without my sweet boy. God give her strength to deal with this.

Reepi... Reepicheep.CSL

This could have happened to any family? Um, no! I have 5 children, 4 have made it through the toddler age, I have taken each of them to the zoo at some point and I have managed to not place any of them on the railing of a predators exhibit. 
I feel for this family, but this wasn't an accident. This was negligence that lead to the death of a toddler. If this mother dangled her child over the railing of a condo 14 feet up and dropped the child would it be considered an accident? Doubtful. People would be shouting for this woman's blood.
Just because it happened at the zoo and involved wild animals doesn't make this any less of the mother's fault and I think she should be held accountable.
 I really really hope that every parent who has done this in the past will learn from this, because that is dangerous behavior and it is playing Russian Roulette with your child's life. Next time jump up there yourself instead.

kelti... kelticmom

Also, while I agree it was incredibly irresponsible to put a child on top if a railing, why the hell was there not a double barrier? This is not the first instance like this, you would think that it would be regulation for all zoos to have a double barrier on all dangerous animal exhibits.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Why in the hell would you place a toddler up there anyway. I feel so bad for this family but what was she thinking? I would never do this and we are at the zoo often and there are areas where you could climb over a fence but that will never happen to us cause I would never put my child up there. It's horrible. Makes my stomach turn.

nonmember avatar IslandMomOf4

Horrific! That poor sweet little boy :( I can't fathom the amount of guilt his Mother has. I hope she has a good support system.

cassi... cassie_kellison

There was a barrier type net to keep things like garbage being thrown into the exhibit and the News said he bounced off of it.
 I agree with a few other posters, I would have jumped in after him and tried to at least throw him to that protective net or protected him as best I could. I would never have been able to stand and watch waiting for someone to get them off of my baby.

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