|Wild dogs illustration|
(Scroll down for video) A little boy got into a wild dog exhibit at an area zoo and was immediately attacked, according to zoo officials and police reports.
A 2-year-old fell into a display of African painted dogs at a zoo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, and was killed by the wild animals, zoo officials said.
The child was with his mother visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. He fell about 11 feet from a railing that his mother has lifted him above in order to see the animals, police said.
He was immediately attacked by several dogs, zoo President and CEO Barbara Baker said. It is unclear whether the child died from falling or being attacked by the animals.
"The screams just kept coming. ‘Help, someone help. Someone has to do something,'" Angela Cinti, 20, of Bethel Park, who was visiting the zoo with her boyfriend, said.
The zoo moved visitors to a building as animal keepers tried to convince the dogs away to an area outside the exhibit. Some of the 11 dogs in the exhibition immediately departed, and several others were frightened away from the child by zookeepers. One dog however refused to let go of the child, which is when a Pittsburgh police officer shot the animal.
Baker said that these dogs often hunt in packs, so this behavior is not considered unusual.
No visitors on the observation deck saw the child fall into the exhibit, Baker said.
The zoo was closed for the day while police officers investigated the incident.