7-year-old goes on zoo rampage

Filed under: In The News

crocodileA seven-year-old breaks into the local zoo. Sure, it's an unusual story, but you'd expect to hear that he just wanted to get a closer look at the animals and that his parents were relieved to find him safe and sound.

What happened in Australia this week, however, was far more disturbing. A 7-year-old boy hopped the fence of the Alice Springs Reptile Center in central Australia. He then took a rock and killed several animals, feeding them to the zoo's 440-pound saltwater crocodile, Terry. Not satisfied, he threw several more live animals over the fence to Terry. In all, the reportedly blank-faced boy killed 13 animals worth over $5,000, including a beloved 20-year-old goanna. The zoo's director Rex Neindorf says that the boy was lucky not to be eaten by Terry himself.

Because of his young age, authorities can't press charges, though the zoo plans to sue the boy's parents. "I just want people to learn that they can't let their children go and run amok," said Neindorf. "If we can't put the blame on the child, then someone needs to accept the responsibility." Taking responsibility is important, that's true. But the horrific abuse this boy inflicted on the zoo animals should be a far greater cause for concern for his parents and authorities alike than traditional punishment. Children "run amok" all the time; most don't commit crimes as gruesome as this one.

What do you think?

7 Signs You Should Call Child Protective Services(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Acting OutLack of confidenceLack of spontaneityInappropriate clothing for the environmentExtreme seriousness

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.