WTF…this young giraffe didn’t have to die, this is so fxxxxd up! Marius was offered numerous homes along with a guy willing to pay thousands of pounds to save the animal. This is more than tragic & has shown us the public, an insight into these so called Conservation breeding programs! If these zoo’s allow these births, then they should be prepared to re-home the animals if they do not fit in the correct genetic make-up!!
Thanks to my dear friend on twitter.com/9marbar9 for heads up on these. Please sign:
- Marius was shot with a bolt gun at Copenhagen Zoo
- Spokesman said they were unable to find Marius a home at another zoo
- Thousands had signed petitions appealing for a change of heart
- Yorkshire Wildlife Park reportedly put in a last-ditch offer to take Marius in
This is the horrific moment schoolchildren crowded around to watch as the body of a perfectly healthy giraffe was chopped up before being fed to lions.
Despite more than 20,000 people signing an on-line petition to save two-year-old Marius, staff at Copenhagen Zoo yesterday went ahead and shot the animal with a bolt pistol.
Young children stood at arm’s length as his carcass was skinned and dissected before the meat was thrown to the lions.
The Danish zoo said the drastic move was needed to combat inbreeding and insisted the display was educational.
But animal rights campaigners last night condemned the killing of Marius, saying it exposed the cruel reality of welfare even in Europe’s top zoos.
Marius’s plight had triggered worldwide outpourings of protest, including an offer to re-home him in Britain, with many saying they were sickened by a zoo killing a healthy animal.
Copenhagen Zoo said it was told by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) that Marius was genetically too similar to the other giraffes in its breeding programme. Because captive animals are bred from a limited gene pool, zoos are monitored to prevent inbreeding and ensure the health of future generations.
After announcing plans to have Marius put down, the zoo received offers of a new home – including one from Yorkshire Wildlife Park – as well as a private buyer who offered 500,000 euros (£410,000).
But bosses said the rules of EAZA membership meant animals could not be transferred to institutions that did not follow its rules on breeding programmes.
The zoo’s scientific director, Bengt Holst, said it was the same as parks culling deer to keep the whole population healthy.
He said: ‘Giraffes today breed very well, and when they do you have to choose and make sure the ones you keep are the ones with the best genes. The most important factor must be that the animals are healthy physically and behaviourally and that they have a good life while they are living, whether this life is long or short.’
Mr Holst said the zoo didn’t give its eight giraffes contraceptives due to ‘unwanted side effects on the internal organs’ and in order to allow animals to display natural parenting behaviour. According to Danish media, Copenhagen Zoo destroys 20-30 animals a year, including bears, tigers and zebras.
Mr Holst told the BBC spaces at institutions such as Yorkshire Wildlife Park should be reserved for ‘genetically more important’ giraffes and that the campaign to save Marius had gone ‘much too far’.
To supporters’ horror, the zoo yesterday announced Marius had been killed with a bolt gun instead of a lethal injection, which would have contaminated the flesh.
His carcass was then skinned and chopped up while visitors crowded around and the meat was fed to the lion population.
A spokesman said parents were allowed to decide whether their children should watch what the zoo regarded as an important display of scientific knowledge about animals, adding that it would have been ‘foolish’ to let the meat go to waste. Doncaster-based Yorkshire Wildlife Park, whose Danish head of ‘hoofstock’ offered to re-home Marius, said it was ‘saddened’ by the news.
‘We have a state-of-the-art giraffe house built in 2012 with a bachelor herd of four male giraffes and the capacity to take an extra male, subject to the agreement of the European studbook keeper,’ it said.
However the park said it received no response by the time it learnt that Marius had been destroyed.
Stine Jensen, of Denmark’s Organisation Against the Suffering of Animals, said the killing showed Copenhagen Zoo was not ‘the ethical institution that it wants to portray itself as being’.
Longleat Safari Park yesterday admitted it put down two lions and four cubs. The Wiltshire park said it had too many lions and they were growing violent. But visitors asked why new homes were not found.
Copenhagen Zoo Kills Giraffe Rare Red “Marius” Giraffe Killed for Science feed to carnivores (Not Graphic)
Published on 9 Feb 2014
Rare Red Giraffe Put Down at Copenhagen Zoo Marius Giraffe Killed for Science. Efforts to win a last minute reprieve for a young giraffe called Marius at Copenhagen Zoo have failed and the zoo has put the animal down.
Scientists defended the action saying that giraffes had to be selected to ensure the best genes were passed down to future generations.
Thousands of people had signed an online petition urging the zoo to find the giraffe another home. The carcass will partly be used for research and partly to feed carnivores.Malcolm Brabant reports.