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Zoo Will Remove Painted Dogs Observation Platform

'Out of respect for the community and for the Derkosh family, the observation platform of the exhibit at issue would be removed.' - Mike Manko, district attorney's office

The observation platform at the Pittsburgh Zoo from which 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh of Whitehall Borough fell into an African painted dogs exhibit will be removed, according to a spokesman at the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.

"In an effort to facilitate the ongoing review of the circumstances surrounding the death of Maddox Derkosh at the Pittsburgh Zoo, District Attorney (Stephen A.) Zappala (Jr.) met this morning with Dr. Barbara Baker and the City of Pittsburgh police officers who responded to the scene," said spokesman Mike Manko in an email to reporters.

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 dogs exhibit and was mauled to death.

"The meeting, which lasted approximately two hours, included a walk-through of the exhibit and was a productive step towards ensuring that this tragedy will not reoccur in the future," Manko said.

"To that end, Dr. Baker advised the district attorney that, out of respect for the community and for the Derkosh family, the observation platform of the exhibit at issue would be removed."

Maddox has grandparents who live in Dormont Borough.

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Ed M December 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM
If the reason this was done is out of respect for the family, then that's a good thing. Any other reason is not acceptable.
Sugar December 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Why else would it be done? We already know what happened no secret there. A zoo with a spotless record for 114 years untill an unbelievably irresponsible decision causes a child to lose his life.
Marie December 07, 2012 at 07:08 PM
If removing the platform, and any others like it, stops another accident like this from happening tomorrow or in another 114 years then it's worth it. A baby died a horrible death. That's all that matters. It doesn't matter who's fault it is. A zoo animal also had to die. We have the knowledge that this can happen and pre cautions have to be made to try to prevent this type of thing from happening again. One innocent child losing his life is too many, no matter who's fault it is.
Randy Barrett December 07, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Sugar, Someone with such a name could only be an intellectual genious. With your superior wit please refrain from passing your judgement without first evaluating the testimonies of both the witnesses and the past zoo attendant and realize that it was routine for people to hold their children up at this opening. But, since you are immaculate please feel free to judge others whenever your feelings of superiority kick in.
Ed M December 08, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Unfortunately, Sugar is correct. If people were putting their kids up on the 4' railing they should consider themselves lucky this didn't happen to them. Why do you think the railing was there in the 1st place?

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