A zoo in Denmark killed an eighteen month old giraffe and fed its meat to lions in front of small children on Sunday. Copenhagen Zoo says that the animal was “unwanted” due to concerns about inbreeding.
***WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW. DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF YOU DON’T WISH TO VIEW IT***
“When breeding success increases it is sometimes necessary to euthanize,” said Scientific Director Bengt Holst on the zoo’s web site. Unapologetically, Holst explains that the only option was to shoot it with a bolt gun, chop it up in front of a crowd of people, and feed it to the “carnivores.” Absolutely no anesthesia was used, the zoo explained, because otherwise the meat could not be eaten.
His justification? Well, other people do it, of course! “The same type of management is used in deer parks where red deer and fallow deer are culled to keep the populations healthy,” he explained.
However, a large moment to save “Marius” had mobilized, and a private donor had offered $680,000 to save the young giraffe from its undeserved death sentence. At least one British zoo wanted to take the young animal, but all offers to save Marius’ life were turned down by the zoo.
Holst says it was still necessary to slaughter the giraffe, no matter how many offers were made. “Our giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of ensuring a sound and healthy population of giraffes,” he 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.”
And so, on the word of a man whose sole basis for whether or not a creature lives or dies is genetics Marius was exterminated. Holst says that the children had a really good time, and no one left crying. Just look at how much fun they had!
The parts that were not heartlessly thrown to the lions will be used for research, zoo officials said.
Watch the report via CNN. WARNING: VERY graphic images.