Pittsburgh Zoo's 2013 Calendar Features Painted Dogs Which Mauled Two Year Old Boy

Maddox Derkosh was killed when he fell from a railing above the Painted Dogs exhibit.

Less than a month after 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh of Whitehall Borough was mauled to death at the Pittsburgh Zoo, news has surfaced that the zoo's 2013 calendar features African painted dogs, the same species that killed the boy in early November.

Zoo officials say that the calendars featuring the dogs had already been printed and made available to patrons before Derkosh's death, according to the Huffington Post.

Maddox was visiting the zoo with his mother on Nov. 4 when he fell from the top of a platform railing to the ground inside of the pit area of the dogs' exhibit, according to a statement from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Pittsburgh police said that the child lost his balance after his mother lifted him in a standing position onto the 4-foot-high wooden railing that overlooks the enclosure.

What do you think? Should the zoo discontinue distribution of the calendars? Share your opinion in the comments box below.

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MDNR_Mom November 29, 2012 at 12:59 AM
It is immensely unfortunate the price Maddox paid for this mother's poor decision making skills but the painted dogs are wild animals in a zoo doing what wild animals do. The fact that this article is posted here is merely another example of poor decision making skills.
Pgh_Mom November 30, 2012 at 02:10 AM
I wish people would stop judging his mother. The employee that recently came forward said he saw parents do the same thing every day. This was a tragic accident plain and simple. His mother and father are more than "paying the price" and deserve sympathy and support, not to mention respect. They have started a charity in the midst of their anguish. Of course the zoo should pull the calendars! I am an animal lover but I love children and my fellow parents far more.
MDNR_Mom November 30, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Pgh_Mom, is your point that the world is full of parents with poor decision making skills? That's how most of the kids got here in the first place. Do Maddox's parents deserve sympathy and support, certainly! Respect - not really. Parenting classes before they procreate again - ABSOLUTELY! Are the dogs to blame for protecting their territory from an intruder? NO! Is the zoo to blame for a parent, or any number of other lucky parents, for putting their child(ren) in peril in such an unnecessary way? ABSOLUTELY NO! The fact is, and I am sad to say, that in this day and age, there is no such thing as "common sense". In reality, its more like "uncommon sense" and frankly Pgh_Mom, you make my case (in spades).
Pgh_Mom December 01, 2012 at 03:38 AM
MDNR_Mom, Since you acknowledge that they deserve sympathy and support, do you think your comments display either one? Also, if you cannot respect people who start a charity in the midst of unimaginable pain,I am not sure what else there is to say. I feel that out of respect for the family the zoo should not be selling calendars featuring these animals at this time. This is different from blaming the zoo or the dogs. Common sense and compassion are not mutually exclusive.
MDNR_Mom December 02, 2012 at 03:09 AM
These are 2013 calendars - when would you like the zoo to release them, 2014? Would you feel better if the zoo shared the proceeds with this family?
Pgh_Mom December 02, 2012 at 06:01 AM
I know that they are 2013 calendars. I am a zoo membership holder, and understand that this is a way of supporting endangered species. However this tragedy has shaken many people in Pittsburgh and I think that the zoo could handle the loss of printing some new calendars or scrapping the calendars for this season. Even Dr.Baker was quoted in a different article as saying that this option was considered. I feel that many people would not be able to look at that photo without immediately associating it with a dead two year old. It is really not about who gets the proceeds in my opinion. Nor do I wish to vilify the zoo. I plan to continue going there with my family so my children will have a fun and educational experience, as I did growing up. There are other ways to support the zoo's mission besides these calendars. This has been a stimulating conversation. However I am not usually one to engage in online commentary (this is the first time I have joined such a forum), and I do not think I have anymore to add to this discussion. Best wishes, I hope that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season.


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