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Pittsburgh Zoo, Department of Agriculture Reach Settlement

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has agreed to pay $4,550 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ending the agency's investigation into the death of a child who was fatally mauled after falling into the wild African Painted dog exhibit.

Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo, said it’s the right time to take the next step.

“Safety is always our top priority,” she said in a written statement. “All of our exhibits meet the highest USDA and AZA standards and we will continue to work with both agencies to ensure those standards are met and exceeded.”

Members of the zoo’s board of directors donated their own money to contribute to the settlement.

On Nov. 4, 2012, 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh fell over the railing at the exhibit and was fatally mauled. Mother Elizabeht Derkosh was holding the child, when witnesses said the boy squirmed out of her arms and fell.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."
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