A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tragedy at the Zoo

African Painted Dog

By LASIS Staff

LASIS recently ran a story about the Bronx Zoo visitor who jumped into a tiger’s enclosure, on purpose. We determined that he would not fare well if he chose to sue the zoo.

Now there’s a story out of Pittsburgh, about a two year old who fell¬†into an area of African painted dogs.

A couple of things worth noting: There was a net for anyone who fell into an area near the exhibit, but the boy was so small, he bounced off of it and landed amongst the snapping wild dogs. He was killed instantly. On the other hand, the boy’s mother had reportedly “placed the boy on a wooden rail above the exhibit so he could get a better look at the animals” — clearly not a prudent thing to do.

Were there signs up saying not to sit or climb on the wooden rails? We’d expect so. Had people fallen there before? Should there have been more space between the net and the dogs?

We don’t know if there will be a lawsuit, or even a threat of one. For now, there’s only the tragedy of a little boy killed at an excursion to the zoo.

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