A 2 year old Pennsylvania boy is dead after being attacked at a zoo. It happened Sunday when the boy's mother put him on a railing, to see a pack of wild African dogs at the Pittsburgh zoo. The child fell into the exhibit, 11 of the dogs attacked him. Zoo keepers and police tried to scare them animals off, but couldn't. The zoo is closed while the incident is investigated.
Here at home, how does the Niabi Zoo make sure your family stays safe? Directors said it takes a lot of teamwork. They may be cute and fun to look at but Zoo directors say wild animals like these Lions aren't only dangerous but deadly.
"All of these animals have potential to be dangerous whether it be a bite or much worse," Niabi Zoo Director Marc Heinzman said.
To keep zoo go–ers out of harms way, director Marc Heinzman said his staff follows a strict routine. "Our zoo keepers check all of our fences every single day to make sure nothing happened overnight, no trees have fell or the animals have done any digging overnight." Heinzman said.
He said there's also drill training to keep workers on their toes. "It's always a surprise so the staff never knows they're coming so it's like a real situation. Whether it's an animal escape or injury we can respond quickly and appropriately so if something ever does happen we're ready for it." Heinzman said.
But Heinzman said it's hard to watch over everybody, so parents should do their part. Watch kids closely, don't let them climb on equipment, or put them on high railings where they could fall into exhibits.
"That could be any zoo at any time especially when it's a situation where nothing failed, no animal escaped, no fence went down. But as sad as it is, it does serve as a reminder for us to stay vigilant about these things." Heinzman said.
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