The zoo in the Danish Copenhagen today executed four lions – two older and their two cubs. They explained that they have decided to take this step in order to make room for a new male. Lions were executed on Monday because they could not find them a new home.
The head of the zoo Steffen Staede said that the Copenhagen Zoo is recognized worldwide for its work with lions and that he is very proud that the main herd of lions at the zoo will now be assembled by their own brood. He has also added that these four lions will not be publicly dissected because “they do not dissect all of their animals in front of the audience.”
The Copenhagen Zoo had to execute both older and younger lions, which were not old enough to defend themselves, they explain at the zoo. The ten month old lion cubs would have been killed by a new male as soon as he would get a chance for that, they added. In the next few days they will present the new lion male to two females at the zoo, which have reached the age for mating.
Last month, the zoo in Copenhagen was faced with outrage from all around the world. They have executed a young male giraffe Marius with a shot and then dissect him before the eyes of visitors. After he was dissected they fed the lions with his flesh. At that time they have explained their decision by saying that they should not allow male giraffe grow as they should adhere to the European rules, which stipulate that the mating between relatives should be avoided.
The act of those who are responsible at the zoo shocked thousands of animal lovers around the world. When they have heard about the intention of the zoo that Marius will be executed, thousands of people signed the online petition to save him, but without success. Many Danes have then said that the action of those who are responsible reflects the hypocrisy and political correctness. Due to the decision, the scientific head of the zoo Bengt Holst even received some death threats.
In Denmark, animal-rights activists are not as strong and decisive, like the U.S. or the UK. Despite the fact that they have collected thousands of signatures to save Marius, not only he died, but today, the same fate befell four lions. At the zoo in Copenhagen contraception is not used, nor are the animals castrated. They claim that it is inhumane. Animal-rights activists are, however, wondering whether the killing of an animal is a more humane solution.
Public outrage and protests by animal lovers did not stop the zoo in Copenhagen to execute four healthy lions. Unlike the European zoos, American Zoos do not kill the healthy animals. The American zoos are engaging in the use of contraception and thereby preventing inbreeding and overcrowding. The zoo in Copenhagen executes nearly 30 animals per year. Body parts of the lions are to be used for research purposes.
By: Janette Verdnik