A male giraffe was a meal for some hungry carnivores at a Danish Zoo called the Copenhagen Zoo today; the animal was killed for two reasons: food for carnivores and to stop inbreeding. Bengt Holst, the scientific director for the Copenhagen Zoo, said that their giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of being responsible for a healthy and sound population of giraffes. He continued by saying that the program can only be run by matching the genetic composition of various animals with available space. When the giraffes breed as well as they now do, then places will run into surplus problems now and then.
The zoo said that they did not have enough space for the two-year old giraffe, called Marius, and did not want to transfer the animal to another zoo since moving it would cause inbreeding. The animal was so large that the autopsy had to be performed outside; this was done in front of zoo visitors. Holst said that the autopsy was a good way to invite guests to watch and that the zoo is there to educate people. He continued by saying that the autopsy was a way to show people what a giraffe looks like. He said that people were allowed to come into the area and that there were a lot of people, some had children while others did not. The autopsy was broadcast on the Internet; guests could also watch the animal be dismembered and fed to the carnivores.
Stenbaek Bro, a spokeswoman for the zoo, told the Associated Press that she was proud that the zoo decided to show the autopsy because it helps children understand what the inside of a giraffe looks like, which, she said, is something they would not get from looking at a picture. Animal rights campaigns called the move barbaric and accused the zoo of being unethical. An online petition was signed earlier this week to save the young giraffe; the petition received 27, 000 signatures. Maria Evans, the creator of the petition, said to The New York Post the zoo produced Marius so it is their responsibility to find it a home. She also said that they should not be allowed to take the easy option.
The petition for a giraffe that was a meal for carnivores at a Danish Zoo was not the end for animal rights activists; 16 activists showed at the zoo this morning to protest against the killing. Holst said that he tried to talk to the protesters and told them that the zoo explored all the options before they made the decision. Others zoos volunteered to take the animal in; the United Kingdom’s Yorkshire Park and Denmark’s Organization Against the Suffering of Animals were two groups that volunteered to take the giraffe. Two other options that were brought up were giving the giraffes contraceptives and releasing it into the wild. The zoo rejected these options by saying that the contraceptives have many unwanted side effects on the animal’s internal organs, which would cause the animal to be in poor health if they did not euthanize it. The zoo also said that the animal would not survive if it was released into the wild.
The giraffe became a meal for carnivores at a Danish zoo called Copenhagen Zoo; the two-year old giraffe called Marius was euthanized to prevent inbreeding and as food for the carnivores; the animal’s meat was used by scientists for research. The zoo also said they would not have had enough room for the young animal. Animal rights activists tried to help the animal by signing a petition to have it not euthanized. An animal rights group and several zoos also volunteered to take Marius in. The zoo said that because their Facebook page was home to a massive debate a question and answer section was created to explain the decision.
By Jordan Bonte