Funeral, Toy Drive Held for Boy Mauled at Zoo


(Photo Credit: CNN/WTAE)

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MT. LEBANON, Pa. (CNN/WTAE) — A funeral was held Friday for a two-year-old boy who died at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

More than 200 toy trucks were waiting at the funeral home when family members arrived to mourn Maddox Derkosh.

Tony Caporuscio and his coworkers at the Port Authority collected bags full of toys to donate in honor of the little boy.

“We managed to buy this,” he said. “Everyone just ran out of the office, went all over downtown, picked up a bunch of toys and were running them out here.”

Maddox was killed Sunday.

His mother lifted him up on a wooden barrier to get a closer look at wild African dogs, but Maddox lost his balance and fell into the exhibit. He was mauled by the dogs, which were acting in a pack mentality.

“I think it’s touched everyone,” said Caporuscio. “Not just parents. I think everyone just feels so horrible for the little boy.”

Hundreds of people — friends, family and complete strangers — arrived at the William Slater Funeral Home in Scott Township with their donations in hand. Others ordered toys online that were shipped there throughout the day.

Maddox’s parents will donate the trucks to a children’s Christmas charity.

That’s something that mourners say is an incredible act of kindness in the midst of a family’s darkest hour.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Julie Leistner, of the Port Authority. “I can’t imagine what they’re going through. I think I would be in the fetal position in bed and couldn’t get out. I just can’t believe how they’re thinking about other kids at a time like this. My heart breaks for the whole family.”

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