Danish Zoo Kills Healthy Giraffe, Feeds Body To Lions, Guests Look On

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (CNN, Feb. 9th, 2014)- An online petition to save a healthy young giraffe from death has failed, despite thousands of signatures from animal lovers.

Copenhagen Zoo said it euthanized the male, named Marius, on Sunday because of a duty to avoid inbreeding.

After an autopsy, “Marius” was dismembered in front of a zoo audience that included children, and fed to the zoo’s lions.

Despite online uproar over the move and reports of last-minute attempts to save the animal, the zoo in the Danish capital said it had no place for Marius in its giraffe herd.

“Our giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of ensuring a sound and healthy population of giraffes,” Bengt Holst, scientific director at Copenhagen Zoo, told CNN. “It can only be done by matching the genetic composition of the various animals with the available space. … When giraffes breed as well as they do now, then you will inevitably run into so-called surplus problems now and then.”

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5 comments

  • Hope

    That is a load of crap. They could have traded this animal with another zoo for either another giraffe who was not in the same gene pool or for another animal they may not have. And then to top it off they dismember it in front of young children. One good thing came from it. The lions got fed! There is one thing that puzzles me. If the giraffe was healthy and they killed it why did they perform a necropsy? (aut

    • Julie

      I was thinking that too. Or sold him to a private collector/preserve. Not sure what the laws are in Denmark, but in the US there are non-profit rescues that save circus animals and other retired or unwanted exotics. Seems like and unwise course of action every way you look at it. (except the part about the lions)