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December 18, 2014

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Pittsburgh Zoo: Boy’s mauling death is mom’s fault

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Associated Press

A security guard closes the gate at the Pittsburgh Zoo, where zoo officials say a boy was killed after he fell into the exhibit that was home to a pack of African painted dogs, who pounced on the boy and mauled him, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012.

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium says the mother of a 2-year-old boy fatally mauled in a wild African dogs exhibit is to blame in her son's death and shouldn't be allowed to sue.

The claim filed Monday in Allegheny County is in response to a lawsuit brought by the parents of Maddox Derkosh.

Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh are seeking unspecified damages in the Nov. 4 death of Maddox, who fell over a 4-foot-tall railing into the exhibit after his mother lifted him up to get a better look.

The zoo says in the court filing that Maddox's death was "caused solely by the carelessness, negligence and/or recklessness of Elizabeth Derkosh."

The parents' attorney, Robert Mongeluzzi, said in a statement Wednesday that "the zoo's position is dead wrong and shameful."

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