When the tragedy occurred in November 2012 in which Maddox Derkosh was killed in a Pittsburgh zoo exhibit, due to the sensitivity of the event I decided to wait several months before writing this letter. Then I read the article saying that his parents are suing the zoo.
At the time, I believe no one wanted to blame Mrs. Derkosh. It is very devastating for a parent (anyone) to realize that her action to lift her son (to see the African painted dogs) on the railing, his abrupt movement and her losing her grasp of him resulted in his tragic death.
A zoo is a facility for dangerous animals. People visit zoos to observe wild animals in a scaled-down natural habitat. Sometimes people interact with animals as in a petting zoo. In order to survive, some animals hunt in packs. The African painted dog is an endangered species.
This was a horrific event that no one should have to live the rest of their lives with, but accidents happen. Ongoing therapy and continuing with Maddox's love for dump trucks would benefit Maddox's loved ones.
In its 114-year history, one visitor was killed by an animal; otherwise, the zoo has an excellent safety record. On Oct. 25, 2009, after giving birth to nine newborn African painted dog puppies, Vega, their mother, died of a ruptured uterus. Honey, a black labrador retriever mix, nursed the puppies. The zoo cares about human life and animal life, and also has programs aimed at educating children and teens.