Maddox Derkosh: Identity of two year old boy mauled by wild African painted dogs released.

 

Maddox Derkosh: Identity of two year old boy mauled by wild African painted dogs released.

Maddox Derkosh

2 year old boy mauled by African wild painted dogs as mother dangled him over railings at Pittsburgh Zoo.

The identity of the two year old boy savaged by a pack of eleven wild African painted dogs has been released as Maddox Derkosh who it is now understood had no chance of surviving the horrific attack after falling off the railings his mother placed him along in an effort to get a better look at the dogs.

At present it has yet to be understood whether the boy died as a consequence of falling into the 11 foot deep dog pit or as a result of being eaten alive by the pack who despite zoo keepers and later intervening police officers could not be kept at bay. Nevertheless it now appears that the child was indeed killed by the animals and not by the fall, making the boys death that more horrific.

Reports the UK’s dailymail: Barbara Baker, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium said there is a net below the rail, but the boy bounced off it and into the enclosure.

She said the animals attacked the child so quickly that by the time a veterinarian and other zoo staffers arrived seconds later, they determined it would have been futile to try to rescue the child.

Authorities said that zoo staff and then police responded ‘within minutes’ but visitors described that time as being filled with screams for help. 

It is also understood that in May of this year some of the dogs crawled under a fence and escaped into a part of the exhibit that’s usually closed. The animals were lured back in with food and no one was hurt. The escape has led to some questioning whether the dog exhibit was appropriate to maintain in the first place.

At present it is understood authorities and the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office are Police and the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office are investigating the incident and have yet to have interviewed the mother or father, Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh who are receiving grief counseling.

At the time of the incident the father was not at the zoo with his son and the child’s mother.

The incident to date has fostered a variety of heartfelt comments, as well as strong condemnation of the mother and to some degree the zoo.

Maddox Derkosh: Identity of two year old boy mauled by wild African painted dogs released.

African painted dog



According to the dailymail, the following is understood about the African painted dog:

The African wild dog is an endangered species which typically roams the open plains and sparse woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa.

The dog’s Latin name Lycaon pictus means ‘painted wolf’ because of the animal’s patchy colored coat of red, black, brown, white and yellow fur, each with their own unique pattern.

These dogs are very social, and packs have been known to share food and to assist weak or ill members. In fact after a successful hunt, the dogs regurgitate meat for those that remained at the den.

They hunt in packs of six to 20 and despite their small size they prey on large animals like antelopes and wildebeests.

They kill the larger prey by disemboweling, a technique that is rapid but has caused this species to have a negative, ferocious reputation.

They are often hunted and killed by farmers who fear for their domestic animals and are susceptible to diseases spread by domestic animals.

Its large teeth allow it to consume a lot of bone in the same way a hyena does and it has a bite force quotient – BFQ, the strength of bite relative to the animal’s mass -  measured at 142, the highest of any carnivore, except for the Tasmanian devil.

They are extremely aggressive and nearly 80 per cent of their hunts end in a kill – as opposed to a lion with a success rate of just 30 percent.

There were once approximately 500,000 African wild dogs in 39 countries, and packs of 100 or more were not uncommon. Now there are only about 3,000-5,500 in fewer than 25 countries

  • Englit

    Wild dogs. High fence. Do not lift child to top of fence. Everyone blames the dogs’ pack instinct. Where was the mother’s common sense?

  • Jen

    Shame on you….. We all have done things and look back and say why did I do that. I pray for the family and hope they do not see these messages from perfect people like yourself. Accident……it was a terrible accident. Little Maddox is an angel now and does not blame anyone. I can not believe that no one tried to jump in right after he fell. Come on people…. How can you live with yourself not trying to help that little boy. One person to protect Maddox and a few others to scare them away. I can tell you if I were there I would have jumped in right after he fell. Yes, I could have been hurt or killed, but I would have had to try. I am a 43 year old woman and I would still have done it. If it was reversed and one of the painted dogs pups would have been threatened by humans…..you better believe that back would come after us even if it was hundreds of people, but all those idiots stood by and did nothing. What a disgrace they are to the human race. My prayers to mom, dad and family. I wish I could help ease your pain.

  • Catherine

    I agree with Englit. Stop putting blame on the wild dogs. Full blame goes to the mother….what was she thinking, standing the child on the railing!

  • Lesli

    The mother was there as well. If you are calling all those people who watched, idiots, then so is the mother. Accidents do happen but I will guarantee nothing like that would have happened to my children. Even though those animals are in enclosures, I am always very cautious cause the unexpected does happen. I would have jumped in right after my kid whether it killed me or not but huddling my child may have saved him til the authorities got there. Negligent or not, that mother will live with her choice and no words can be as hurtful as living with that regret of putting her child on that rail.

  • Laura Bee

    I saw a video on YouTube of a much smaller pack (five dogs) hunting and taking down an impala. It was 26 seconds between them catching the impala and ripping it in half – literally in two pieces! How much softer is a toddler… No one could have gotten in there fast enough to save the child.

  • Kae51

    Everyone was outraged when Michael Jackson held is child over a balcony. These 2 incidents are the same. The only difference is that MJ did not drop his child. The mom not trying to help her 2 year old son is an absolute disgrace and a little strange.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Payton-Blake/1390912413 Payton Blake

    A completely preventable accident had the mother followed safety rules and common sense.

  • chris87654

    Not the zoo’s fault at all. This article is wrong – it says the mother ‘dangled’ the boy over the fence (like when Michael Jackson ‘dangled’ his baby over a 3rd floor balcony), when she actually set him on the fence (not really sure if he was sitting or standing). We still don’t know whether he was allowed to stand/sit somewhat on his own power and fell, or if she kept a grip on him and he slipped out of her hands. Police said he “lost his balance” (sounds like he was standing on his own and then fell), but we don’t know details. I feel very bad for the mom – an error that cost the boy’s life.

  • chris87654

    Not the zoo’s fault at all. This article is wrong – it says the mother ‘dangled’ the boy over the fence (like when Michael Jackson ‘dangled’ his baby over a 3rd floor balcony), when she actually set him on the fence (not really sure if he was sitting or standing). We still don’t know whether he was allowed to stand/sit somewhat on his own power and fell, or if she kept a grip on him and he slipped out of her hands. Police said he “lost his balance” (sounds like he was standing on his own and then fell), but we don’t know details. I feel very bad for the mom – an error that cost the boy’s life.

  • chris87654

    Hard to say what would have happened if someone jumped in to help. There is a video showing zookeepers throwing a knotted-up piece of firehose soaked in fish oil into the pit. The dogs attacked it immediately. They may have been fed the same way – a big chunk of meat (like the whole thorax portion of some animal) thrown into the cage. It wouldn’t take much for the dogs to tear apart a little child that they thought was food – they may not attack, or even be distracted by, a full sized human (though zoo figured it wasn’t worth the risk [and they'd know better] so they first called off the dogs). On other hand, many domestic dogs (NOT in pack ‘mode’) would attack someone who tried to take away their food (another instinct), so I don’t think it would have helped if someone jumped in. One might think it may have done some good, but is highly unlikely – instinct of wild dogs it to go for jugular vein or disembowel prey.

  • chris87654

    Hard to say what would have happened if someone jumped in to help. There is a video showing zookeepers throwing a knotted-up piece of firehose soaked in fish oil into the pit. The dogs attacked it immediately. They may have been fed the same way – a big chunk of meat (like the whole thorax portion of some animal) thrown into the cage. It wouldn’t take much for the dogs to tear apart a little child that they thought was food – they may not attack, or even be distracted by, a full sized human (though zoo figured it wasn’t worth the risk [and they'd know better] so they first called off the dogs). On other hand, many domestic dogs (NOT in pack ‘mode’) would attack someone who tried to take away their food (another instinct), so I don’t think it would have helped if someone jumped in. One might think it may have done some good, but is highly unlikely – instinct of wild dogs it to go for jugular vein or disembowel prey.

  • Take responsibility

    Blame the dogs blame the zoo blame everyone except the person truly responsible for a child’s safety!!!

  • cara

    I’m in shock that the mother let this happen. If this was myself, there is no way on god’s green earth I would have let my child that high unprotected. IF I was holding my child high so that he could see over the railing, I would be holding on very tight. No amount of movement from my child would loosen my grip. I would make sure of this.

  • JW

    I am SO relieved to see 2 people who agree with me, it is
    not the animals fault, they are only doing what they are instinctually born to do.
    They have been taken from their natural habitat, put on display and stopped of
    many of the things they would have in their natural environment. it is NOT
    their fault the baby fell into their cage. To kill the animal for doing what it
    ONLY knows while it has been caged up… is so unfair. this was not an
    oversight or honest mistake on the mother’s part, why on EARTH would you put
    your child in harm’s way? Argue all you want, Jen, but that is, after all, what
    happened. Had she not put the child on the railings and DROPPED him, this would
    not have happened.

  • noni

    why didnt the mother jump in i would have couldnt she have just placed him on her hips why would you put a child on the railing there would have been signs to say not to even if ther wasnt she shouldnt have. now she has to live with this the rest of her life if they sue the zoo the child ment nothing to them anyway the dogs would have just thought it was fresh meat and any crys would have just have excited them into attacking more youve got to take better care of kids this is so sad and its the victim that pays the altimate price…

  • this periodical sux

    he wasn’t dangled over the railing he was standing on top of it to see the dogs better. bunch of garbage journalism. and unless you know the mother, which i do, then stfu and show some compassion aholes. bunch of hind sight mf’s.

  • sorcha

    I feel bad that this happened to a sweet little boy and hope all is well with family and friends I won’t be a blamer I don’t care what happened I’m just sorry it did rip little man your in gods hands now

  • Sue

    For the person who said ” I can’t believe they shot the dog”….The dog was shot because he would not get off the poor boy. They got all the dogs away, except one aggressive dog so they had no choice but to shoot it. If they didn’t , the dog would have kept tearing the boy apart until there was nothing left. I do agree the dogs are wild animals and they were just doing what wild animals do. You can’t blame the dogs , nor the mother because it was an accident. People make mistakes. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  • concerned citizen

    Sensationalism and heartless reporting at it’s worst. How dare a reporter or
    media outlet, or YOU add to this family’s pain, through judgment and graphic
    depiction with mere speculation. This is a horrific tragedy. This family is
    in great distress, please do not add to it with your thoughtless and callus comments.

    Everyone has made split second poor judgment, not realizing the potential consequences of their actions. Have you ever driven distracted?
    Hmmm… Maybe talking on your cell phone, fiddling with the radio, eating, or
    putting on make up? Then YOU have made a poor judgment and put others at
    serious risk….. just turn that pointing finger right back around at yourself.
    At any moment a careless mistake could turn into a tragedy. Unfortunately, this
    women has suffered the greatest lost, and yes she does have to bear the consequences of her mistake, but it is NOT FOR YOU to shake your finger at her and speculate on what YOU would have done. It turns my stomach to see media outlets display this child’s photo and depict his death with such vulgar descriptions. Do you
    not have an empathetic bone in your body? Are you REALLY so callus to kick this
    women in her darkest hour. My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.

  • razberry shus

    ffs lets just make more excuses up for complete and utter imcompetence why dont we? I dont feel sorry for her at all, how about some accountability people? WHO DOES THAT? I am only saddend that child protection services didnt take that kid away before this happened…you should have to take a test before you breed: 1) its a good idea to hold a 2 year old baby over an open enclosure holding man eating wild animals True or False? People like that should be surgically castrated.

  • Jean Hansen

    Ok everyone, just knock it off! To all you Holier than Thou, judgmental hypocrits posting here, knock it off! Do you all really think for one moment that this poor mother isn’t destroyed and will blame herself for the rest of her life? I mean, really??!!! Every single parent out there has make some choice or decision that they regret later…EVERY PARENT! So let’s try to have some compassion and sympathy for these parents who now have the horrible ordeal of burying their beloved child. And to all you haters that will inevitably respond to this post, Karma is a terrible thing……Judge others and you too will be judged. May God bless this family!

  • No excuse

    Yeah, letting him stand on the railing over a pack of predators isn’t exactly perfect parenting, “bitch”.

  • Tina

    I feel heartbroken when I think of the suffering this family will feel for the rest of their lives and the guilt the mother will have to endure. Honestly I don’t know how she will make it through, I know I wouldn’t.
    I feel even more distraught when I think of this poor child being put in harms way by the person who should have been guarding him with her life, and of the terror and pain he suffered because of her reckless and stupid decision to STAND the baby on the railing.

  • TracyJ

    Actually she went to pick him up and he was eager to look over and the momentum is what made him go over, she did not dangle him. Not to mention that others were throwing Cheetos over the railing and that’s why the dogs were right there. It took the zoo staff 7 minutes to get to him. Seven minutes. No one has any right to judge. Blaming the mom won’t bring Maddox back and neither will any of all your ignorant comments. So please quit with your blaming and “I would have jumped in” attitudes. None of you were there.

  • jaf74

    Why would any sane mother put her child up on a railing that high and ESPECIALLY over an exhibit of wild animals? Screw getting a better look. There is just no excuse. Now she has to live with this for the rest of her life, probably the worst punishment humanly possibly…seeing her baby getting mauled to death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/racquel.pixler Racquel Devoreah Pixler

    all of you people judging and saying horrible things must be completely perfect…must have never done anything in your entire life, never made one damn mistake…he who is without sin, cast the first stone….sure it’s probably really easy for you cowards to hide behind your keyboards and call this mother terrible names and curse her for not jumping in…but let me ask you this: where were you that day? were you at the zoo, standing right there beside them? you are entitled to your opinion but didn’t anyone ever teach you to think before you open your mouth? what kind of benefit do you get from typing these horrible things? what do you gain from someone else’s pain? do you think that she is the only person to EVER lift her kid up to get a better look? she’s not, because every parent has done so at some point…it’s an act of love…I’ve been to that zoo many times and can tell you those dogs usually all stay on one side out of view, with sweet little Maddox wearing glasses, i’m guessing he couldn’t see very well and like most little boys, loves dogs…his mother was only doing what any other mother would do and something awful happened, some freak horrible accident…so why don’t you try really hard to imagine what it must’ve been like to have to witness that while people are restraining you and you can’t get to your child…if you just can’t dig up some sympathy for his mother then think what that poor tiny child had to go through and please say a little prayer for him….I don’t understand why this happened in such an awful way but what I do know is that it has taught me to really honor the time we have on this earth because you just never know….I don’t know these people but i am from pittsburgh and i will continue to defend this family from negative people who have nothing better to do but spread hate…seriously, pray for this child, I have never been a God person but it’s all I can do now, it’s all I know to do. shit, I’ll pray for all of you, even if you are a big meanie.