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LATIN AMERICA

Mexico City maulings ignite debate among dog lovers

Four people were killed over the past week by wild dogs

One of the dogs that was caught near the site of the four fatal maulings sits inside a cage at a city dog pound in Mexico City.
One of the dogs that was caught near the site of the four fatal maulings sits inside a cage at a city dog pound in Mexico City.DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS (AP)

The killings of four people by wild dogs at a Mexico City park over the past week has opened a fierce nationwide debate about what to do with the thousands of stray canines that roam the streets of the overcrowded Mexican capital.

On Tuesday, police captured more than two dozen dogs near the scene of the attacks in Mexico City's poor Iztapalapa district, in the capital's southeast sector, as they hunt the canines that were responsible for fatal maulings that occurred in at least two incidents, one involving a 26-year-old woman and her one-year-old child.

But the hunting down of stray dogs has also ignited nationwide sympathy for the animals with activists, sparking a campaign across social networks with images of the mutts staring sadly from behind the bars of an animal shelter. "Dogs attack in defense, say experts," the Mexico City daily El Universal bannered on its website Wednesday.

On Saturday visitors to the Cerro de la Estrella Park found the bodies of Alejandro Ruiz, 15, and her boyfriend, Samuel Martínez, 16. Judging by their wounds and blood loss, police said that they must have been attacked by at least 10 dogs.

The tragedy came on the heels of another incident when park-goers found the bodies of a mother and her infant child on December 29. The woman's left arm was missing and prosecutors said they both bled to death.

Officials say that the feral dogs live in caves at the park.

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
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