Copenhagen Zoo Shoots 18-Month-Old Giraffe and Publicly Feeds it to the Lions (Video)

by , 02/10/14
filed under: Animals, Environment, News

Copenhagen Zoo just drew international outrage after shooting a baby giraffe and then cutting it up in front of a crowd in a bid to prevent ‘inbreeding.’ According to reports, the animal was coaxed into a yard and then shot in the head from behind. He was then carved into pieces in front of a crowd of people (including children) before parts of the carcass were fed to lions.

Marius giraffe, Copenhagen Zoo, baby giraffe killed, baby giraffe Marius, inbreeding, euthanisia, longleat safari park,Image via Thomas Rousing

Not only did the zoo kill the 18-month-old giraffe named Marius, but it used shocking methods to do so. The plan to euthanize the animal had already drawn international condemnation with animal rights activists, who set up an online petition that gained 25,000 signatures. British and Swedish zoos also put in offers to re-home the animal. But Copenhagen Zoo is defending its decision on the grounds that Marius’ death was ‘normal practice for zoos to maintain a “sound population” as part of an international breeding programme.’

In their statement, which was published on their website and titled Why does Copenhagen Zoo euthanize a giraffe?, the zoo added that killing the giraffe was “in agreement with the European breeding program” and that transferring the animal to another zoo would “cause inbreeding.”

“As this giraffe’s genes are well represented in the breeding program and as there is no place for the giraffe in the zoo’s giraffe herd, the European Breeding Program for Giraffes has agreed that Copenhagen Zoo euthanise the giraffe,” said the statement from the zoo’s Scientific Director Bengt Holst. “When breeding success increases, it is sometimes necessary to euthanise.”

In-breeding is often cited in decisions to kill zoo animals, but it is the first time a giraffe has ever been put down. The decision to send it to a safari park in Africa was rejected as Marius’ attachment to humans would have made him an easy target for predators. A lethal injection was also rejected as it would ‘have contaminated the meat.’

Via BBC News

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Laurie Gonzalez August 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm


  2. yolanda tamez March 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Then they kill the lions for another one…what a joke those folks are over there…who is running that zoo needs to be fired!!!

  3. Mike Elmasry February 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Didn’t anyone at the zoo think that they could just neuter the giraffe and let it live?

  4. envirogal February 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    allowing a child to witness abuse is psychologically equivalent (if not worse) than abuse itself, whether it’s of a sibling, another child, parent, pet, or beloved animal. This zoo decision is SICK and sounds like something that came out of Nazi mindset. This zoo should be CLOSED.

  5. Breno Ribeiro February 11, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Marius attachment to humans made him an easy target to… Humans!

    What is wrong with becoming a prey in Africa, letting life follow a natural course by itself? Maybe they’re wrong, they can’t foresee the future! Maybe Marius would live a long life in a natural habitat!

    That is a fucking lame excuse to say!!!

  6. Rasmus Myrsø February 11, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I don’t like zoos personally, but the xoo director is not a terrorist. See this channel 4 interview

  7. David Stone February 11, 2014 at 8:39 am

    using certainty to avoid a possibility.
    that is just genius!

    kill the little animal so that it would not be in danger of being killed is an interesting arguement.

    Of course hacking it up and feeding it other animals is just using what is there.

    The icing on the cake of cruelty was displaying it openly to children.

    But that is nothing to what is done to thousands of farm animals everyday.

  8. Mahler Symphony February 11, 2014 at 2:05 am

    This article is incorrect and needs more complete coverage.

    The zoo sought a donor to take the giraffe as is the common practice of most zoos in Europe. The giraffe was too close genetically to the other giraffes in the zoo population. The zoo did not have the space for a giraffe that could not contribute genetically to a sustainable herd. Other zoos do not want a giraffe that is so close genetically to their own population. No one offered to take the giraffe. So, in order to make space for a better mating partner, they euthanized the giraffe.

    The goal of most zoos, in Europe, is not the protection of individuals within a population, but the long term health and sustainability of the entire population. With limited budgets and space, this means that zoos must make difficult decisions to ensure the future health of the animals in their care.

    The zoo allowed children to watch the autopsy of the body. They required parental permission. Their reasoning was to allow children to learn from the process. No different that students dissecting animals in biology.

    The zoo fed the carcass to lions. Lions are carnivores and eat meat. Usually cow, chicken or pork.

  9. Equus February 10, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Terrorist zoo enjoys displaying animals to young children being murdered and dissected for educational purposes… what are you teaching how humans are so vile, cruel ans heartless beings?????
    Marius was wonderful when he was born oh joy for the zoo but just a nuisance when he became 18 months old you are ALL full of it B.S!!!!!!

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home