Mom Will Not Be Charged in Zoo Mauling Case

However, the Pittsburgh Zoo is still being investigated.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office will not pursue criminal charges against Elizabeth Derkosh, the mother of the late Maddox Derkosh, who was killed in a tragic mauling accident at the Pittsburgh Zoo in early November.

However, according to KDKA, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. is investigating a possible criminal negligence charge against the zoo.

Elizabeth and 2-year-old Maddox, both of Whitehall Borough's Highgrove Road, were visiting the zoo on Nov. 4 when Maddox fell from the top of a platform railing to the ground inside of the pit area of an African painted dogs exhibit, according to a statement from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Pittsburgh police said that the child lost his balance after his mother lifted him in a standing position onto the 4-foot-high wooden railing that overlooks the enclosure. He was then mauled to death by the dogs.

KDKA reports that Zappala has specifically criticized zoo security, training and zoo officials' response to the accident.

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B November 29, 2012 at 02:46 PM
C'mon Zappala. Quit trying to find a scapegoat. This was an accident. A charge against the zoo could be a death knell for them. Zoos aren't exactly flush with cash to fight legal battles.
Jason Bahr November 29, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I am certain the officials at the Pgh Zoo and all Zoos for that matter are extremely upset and will revisit all viewer areas. If you want to sue the Zoo – you might as well shut it down, because that is what you will end up doing. I am positive zoos will make adjustments immediately to prevent this (or minimize the probability) of this happening again in the future. Why does a pompous high horse have to come out every time a politician or attorney wants to make an example out of somebody by punishing them. Believe me – zoo officials had to be devastated on their own – Zappala doesn’t have to help by grandstanding!


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