A zoo in America has blamed a mother for the death of her two-year-old son who was mauled by African painted dogs.
Maddox Derkosh fell over a four-foot wooden railing at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in November 2012 and was fatally mauled by the animals after his mother lifted him up to get a better look.
According to the Associated Press, the zoo in Pennsylvania has made the argument after Maddox's parents Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.
The zoo's lawyer wrote in a court filing: "The injuries and damages sustained by Maddox Derkosh, including Maddox Derkosh's death, were caused solely by the carelessness, negligence, and/or recklessness of Elizabeth Derkosh."
She "knew or should have known he could fall into the exhibit" and failed "to maintain a proper grasp of Maddox Derkosh after lifting him over the railing."
In an email to New York Daily News, the family's lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi wrote: "Having failed miserably in their solemn responsibility to prevent the attack, they have now shamelessly attacked Maddox's grieving mother.
"We look forward to exposing their reckless conduct, in discovery, and at trial."
ABC News reports that after Maddox fell, he was immediately attacked by the dogs. Zookeepers ran into the enclosure to lure the dogs away and the most aggressive was shot dead by a Pittsburgh police officer.
African painted dogs are an endangered species and about the same size as domestic dogs.
Since Maddox's death, the exhibit has been closed and the dogs have been relocated to other zoos in America.