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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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Toddler dies after falling into wild dogs pen at Pittsburgh Zoo

The 2-year-old boy had been standing on a railing overlooking the enclosure when he lost his balance and fell in.

A security guard closes the gate at the Pittsburgh Zoo yesterday
A security guard closes the gate at the Pittsburgh Zoo yesterday
Image: AP Photo/John Heller

A TWO YEAR old boy has died after falling 14 feet into a wild dog enclosure at Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium in America.

The child had been standing on a railing overlooking the enclosure of African painted dogs yesterday morning at the zoo in Pennsylvania when he lost his balance and fell in. A Pittsburgh police officer said the toddler was immediately attacked by up to eleven dogs.

Barbara Baker, the CEO of the zoo, told a press conference that zoo workers had tried to steer the dogs away from the child and into a separate area. One of the dogs, which was particularly aggressive, was shot dead by police officers.

Pittsburgh Zoo said the accident is being investigated by the Zoo and the Pittsburgh Police Department. The Zoo closed down immediately after the accident and is to remain closed until further notice.

African wild dogs – also known as painted dogs – are an endangered species that are native to sub-Saharan Africa. They can be up to 3.5ft high and can weigh up to 5.6 stones (35 kilogrammes). They typically hunt large prey such as antelopes or wildebeests.

Read: Elephant in South Korean zoo imitates human speech >

Read: Tiger in New York zoo that mauled man “did nothing wrong” >

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