Not sure what the real problem was here - poor design, a parent not paying attention or a little of both. For irony purposes, though, I added a May story at the end about the dogs finding their way through a hole in the fence and escaping into a backup pen.
Child dies after fall into Pittsburgh zoo exhibit and being attacked by African painted dogs - Yahoo! News
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Officials say a young child died after falling into an exhibit at the Pittsburgh zoo and being mauled by African painted dogs.
Tracy Gray of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium said the accident happened at about 11:45 a.m. Sunday. It's not clear whether the child died from the fall or the attack.
Zoo president and CEO Barbara Baker says the child, who was about 3 years old, fell about 14 feet into the exhibit. She says there were 11 dogs in the enclosure and some attacked the child.
The zoo says that the animals are about as big as medium-sized domestic dogs, two to 2 1/2 feet high and 37 to 80 pounds. They are considered endangered.
African Painted Dogs Escape Main Exhibit Area At Zoo
May 5, 2012 6:55 PM
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The escape of several rare African Painted Dogs from their main exhibit area temporarily shut down the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Saturday morning.
People visiting the zoo were quickly brought inside, but zoo officials say there was never a serious danger since the dog remained enclosed in a backup yard.
They are rare animals; there are fewer than 5,000 of them in the world.
The Pittsburgh Zoo is helping to preserve the African Painted Dog, which is described as an inquisitive animal.
So inquisitive, that nine of the dogs found a tiny opening in the fence Saturday morning, crawled under it and got out of their regular exhibit area.
“They actually were never out of their exhibit. They were never out of their fence-line,” said Dr. Barbara Baker, the director of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “They simply were in a backup yard, rather than in their main exhibit.”
But the zoo took full precautions, calling a Code Red when the incident happened.
Officials say about 200 people on the zoo grounds were ushered into buildings to be on the safe side. But zoo officials say no one was in danger.
They finally coaxed the dogs back into their exhibit area the same way you’d get your dog to return home, with food.
Now, the zoo is fixing the fence.
“We’ll inspect that fence-line, make sure that there’s no openings again,” said Baker. “Then, they’ll be able to be out on exhibit again.”