Dogs killed five, Mexican authorities now say
Mexican authorities have identified a fifth possible victim in what they say is a string of fatal dog attacks at a hilltop park in Mexico City.
Gangs of dogs had been blamed for the deaths of four people at Cerro de Estrella national park in connection with attacks authorities say occured on Saturday, and on Dec. 29.
On Wednesday, the city’s attorney general’s office said it is also investigating a case involving a 15-year-old girl whose body was found at the park on Dec. 16, mutilated and bitten.
Police have rounded up 25 dogs at the park, including seven puppies, and promised sweeps at other large green spaces in the city, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But animal welfare activists say authorities have been too quick to blame the street dogs, more than a million of which roam the city, rarely attacking humans.
Some families of victims have told Mexican news outlets they believe their loved ones might have been attacked by humans.
Atty. Gen. Rodolfo Rios said Tuesday that the four most recent victims were killed by bites. In both cases, the bites the victims sustained were determined to have occured both before and after their deaths. Investigators found dog hair on the victims’ clothing, he said.
Rios said additional tests are being conducted, and that there were no plans to exterminate the dogs that have been swept up and are now in the Iztapalapa pound.
“The dogs will not be sacrificed,” Rios said. “They will be treated well.”
On Dec. 29, the bodies of Shunashi Elizabeth Mendoza Caamal, 26, and an infant believed to be her child were found in the Cerro de Estrella area. On Jan. 5, the bodies of Alejandra Ruiz Garcia, 15, and Samuel Suriel Martinez, 16, were found in the park in a “semi-devoured” state, officials said.
But some animal activists say investigators have been too quick to blame dogs, and should be looking for human suspects.
Antemio Maya, president of an association that protects street dogs, said authorities ”are making a huge error. They’re generating a climate of hate against dogs.”
(Photo: Mexico City Attorney General’s office)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, Antemio Maya, attacks, bites, Cerro de Estrella, deaths, dogs, euthanasia, feral, fifth, five, Iztapalapa, mauling, mexico city, park, pets, shelter, strays, street dogs, victims, wild