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Feral dogs kill four in Mexico City park

Four victims include a mother and child, as well as two teenagers — bodies were found in the Cerro De La Estrella park.

African wild dogs 1Enlarge
African wild dogs are an endangered species and are similiar in size to medium-sized domestic dogs. (FRANK LEONHARDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Four have been killed by wild dogs in a park outside of Mexico City over the course of two weeks, in a series of deaths that have horrified the Mexican public.

Twenty-five dogs were captured by a group of 100 police officers on Monday, whose gastric juices will be analyzed to see if they are responsible for the killings, wrote the El Universal newspaper.

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The victims include 26-year-old Shunashi Mendoza and her 1-year-old son, who both appeared to have been partially devoured by the wild canines, wrote the Associated Press.

The bodies of  15-year-old Alejandra Ruiz and 16-year-old Samuel Martinez were found in the park on Friday. Ruiz had frantically phoned her sister while the attack took place, but her sibling thought she was playing a practical joke, and ignored the warning. 

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The wooded Cerro de la Estrella park and archeological site, where the bodies were found, lies within the Iztapalapa district of Mexico City, and is popular with tourists and nearby residents.

Domestic dogs may have evolved in tandem with humans, but can revert to a wild state when left to their own devices — which is likely the case with the animals involved in the Mexican deaths.

Feral dog attacks are common in India, as this New York Times report illustrates, where millions of semi-wild canines roam freely.

Southeastern Europe is currently experiencing its own problems with occasionally dangerous feral domestic dogs, which recently mauled a woman in Bulgaria, according to SETimes.com, while the Australian state of Queensland is concerned that the wild canines are now venturing into the suburbs.

Rabies is another serious concern in India, where 36 percent of the world cases of the fatal disease take place, according to WHO statistics — largely occurring when children come into contact with infected dogs. 

Animal welfare specialists pointed out in the AP report that sterilizing dogs and educating the public on the dangers of releasing unwanted pets into the "wild" might help to prevent such dog-attack tragedies in the future.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/mexico/130108/feral-dogs-kill-four-mexico-city-park