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Copenhagen Zoo Chief Defends Decision To Shoot & Kill Giraffe and Feed it to Lions

This weekend a Danish zoo euthanized a healthy 2-year-old giraffe to regulate the zoos population. Copenhagen zoo chief, Bengt Holst, defends his decision to shoot and kill a giraffe, then feed it to a pride of lions at the zoo.

Many people in Denmark were enraged by the zoos decision to kill the giraffe. An online petition garnered thousands of signatures by the people of Denmark.

In a column “Anger Erupts After Danish Zoo Kills a ‘Surplus’ Giraffe,” Nelson D. Schwartz writes:

Marius the reticulated giraffe died at the Copenhagen Zoo on Sunday. He was 2 years old.

The cause of death was a shotgun blast, and after a public autopsy, the animal, who was 11 feet 6 inches, was fed to the zoo’s lions and other big cats.

Administrators said they had decided to kill Marius, who was in good health, because his genes were well represented among the captive giraffe population in European zoos. But that explanation did not satisfy animal rights activists who had mounted a furious last-minute campaign to save him.

Besides nearly 30,000 online signatures from those who did not want Marius killed, Copenhagen Zoo officials received death threats after they turned down adoption offers from other zoos, as well as a bid of 500,000 euros, or $682,000, from an individual who was willing to take Marius in.

Jack Hanna says as long as he is connected to the Columbus Zoo, it will not have anything to do with the Copenhagen Zoo.

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