A net also extends a couple of feet from the base of the platform, to catch paper cups and other debris dropped by zoo visitors, and witnesses say the boy fell onto that net but bounced off it and into the exhibit.
Spokeswoman Tracy Gray said the zoo wouldn't comment on whether the platform will be replaced with another means of viewing the wild dogs or if the exhibit will be scrapped altogether. Cheetahs were previously displayed in the same enclosure about 20 years ago.
The zoo is conducting an internal investigation into the boy's death. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates the exhibiting of wild animals, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums — an accrediting association which enforces safety and other standards — are also conducting separate investigations expected to take months.