A 3-month-old baby in Alabama died after being bitten by a “wolf-hybrid” kept as the family’s pet, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 12:54 p.m. on Thursday, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and county animal control officers responded to a 911 call about an apparent animal attack involving an infant at a home in Chelsea, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The infant was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead due to injuries suspected to have been caused by the animal, the release said.
A wolf-hybrid is a term for a canine with mixed wolf and dog ancestry. The family was aware there was wolf in the dog’s lineage, Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans confirmed to CNN on Saturday.
By request of law enforcement, the animal was euthanized at the scene and taken to the Alabama State Diagnostics Laboratory.
The death remains under investigation and an autopsy will be performed, Evans said.
“We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate and tragic event,” Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer said in a statement Friday. “We lift up the family and all those affected with our deepest prayers and thoughts.”
In further comments to CNN, Picklesimer noted Alabama is one of just four states to allow ownership of exotic pets.
He offered a word of caution to exotic pet owners, according to CNN affiliate WBRC.
“It’s just unthinkable that this could happen to this baby,” he said. “If you choose to own an exotic pet, what comes with that is additional responsibilities to be sure that not only your family is safe, but your neighbors are safe.”
Chelsea is about 20 miles southeast of Birmingham and has about 16,000 people, according to the US Census.
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