Last updated: 07.12.2023, 22:31
By: Martina Lippl
A tragedy shakes Alabama (USA). A three-month-old infant dies because the family keeps an exotic pet.
Chelsea – A "wolf hybrid" has attacked and killed a baby in a house in Alabama (USA), according to authorities. The emergency call of an animal attack on an infant came in around 13 p.m. on Thursday, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said in a post on Facebook. First responders transported the boy to the hospital. There, the three-month-old baby succumbed to his injuries, "which were probably caused by the animal."
The parents still tried to snatch the baby from the wolf, but it was too late, coroner Lina Evans told the New York Post. The "house wolf" picked up the infant from the ground and began to "play" with him. In the process, the animal killed the baby, Evans explained.
Family wolfhound attacks baby and kills him (symbolic photo). © imago
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"The animal is described as a wolf mix and was reportedly kept as a pet by the infant's family," police said in a statement. At the request of law enforcement, the animal was euthanized by a veterinarian and examined at the Alabama State Diagnostics Laboratory in Auburn. According to the authorities, they are trying to clarify the circumstances that led to the death of the infant.
The exact ancestry of the wolfhound was not clear to members of the family. Only that he carries wolf genes in him, local media report.
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Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer confirmed the horrific incident in a Facebook post: "It has been confirmed that one of our children here in Chelsea was killed by an exotic pet and succumbed to his injuries yesterday afternoon after being taken to hospital by Chelsea Fire & Rescue."
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He continued: "We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate and tragic event. We keep the family and all those affected in our prayers and thoughts." Further details are not yet known.
Many express their sympathy and condolences for the affected family in the comments. However, there is sharp criticism. One user wrote: "Who the hell keeps a wolf mongrel as a pet near a newborn? Unfortunately, the baby was nothing more than prey. This is entirely the fault of the parents. This whole incident could have been prevented by less stupidity."
Wolfhounds or wolf hybrids controversial as pets
Wolf-dog mixes are the result of mating between a wolf and a domestic dog. Wolves (Canis lupus) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are very different species, despite their common ancestry and ability to interbreed, according to the International Wolf Center.
Looks confusingly similar to the wolf: the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound © Panthermedia/Imago
Wolf hybrids, also known as wolfhounds, can exhibit erratic behavior. They show a pronounced territorial behaviour. Keeping them as pets is difficult. Owners of wolf hybrids would often find that their pet's behavior makes grooming challenging. "The diversity of genetic composition even within a litter of mixed breed puppies leads to a wide range of appearances and behavioural patterns in all mixed breeds, making their behaviour inconsistent and more difficult to predict." (ml)