Another Giraffe Named Marius at Risk of Being Put Down by Danish Zoo

by , 02/13/14
filed under: Animals, Environment, News

Marius giraffe, Copenhagen zoo, public killing giraffe, giraffe killing, zoo animals, animal rights activism, animal rights, European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, Animal Rights Sweden, animal biodiversity, zoo inbreeding, zoos genetic pools

Just a few days after Copenhagen Zoo killed a perfectly healthy giraffe and carved it up in public, Danish Jyllands Park Zoo announced that it might put down one of its giraffes, coincidentally also named Marius. Zookeeper Janni Lojtved Poulsen said that the seven-year-old giraffe will be put down if they manage to acquire a female giraffe to replace him, but the zoo still hasn’t decided whether it should carry out a public dissection.

Marius giraffe, Copenhagen zoo, public killing giraffe, giraffe killing, zoo animals, animal rights activism, animal rights, European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, Animal Rights Sweden, animal biodiversity, zoo inbreeding, zoos genetic pools

The 2-year-old giraffe Marius was shot with a bolt pistol, skinned and chopped to pieces in front of a large crowd of visitors, before it was thrown to the lions. Copenhagen Zoo said that the giraffe had to be killed to prevent inbreeding, even though they received offers from other zoos to save the animal. Staff at Copenhagen Zoo have since received numerous death threats.

The Copenhagen Zoo claimed it has followed the recommendation of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to put the giraffe down because he was genetically too similar to other giraffes that are already bred within a limited genetic pool, which causes inbreeding.

An employee at the Jyllands Park Zoo, Janni Lojtved Poulsen said that animals have been killed for many years in Danish zoos and stated that in places where they don’t do this, the animals end up living in horrid conditions and are not allowed to breed. She added that the zoo will not change its plans in light of the wave of protests following the Copenhagen Zoo incident.

Via Reuters

Images from Wikimedia Commons, Flickr users sallylondon and Didde Elnif

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  1. John Whitehead February 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Shame on every Dane for this outrage. That they were offered $680,000 not to do it in the first place, but could not resist and instead brought their children to witness their ugliness demonstrates what manner of people live in Denmark.

    All travel plans to that barbaric place should be cancelled. All products made by those blood-thirsty people should be boycotted throughout the world.

  2. Loka86 February 16, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    envirogal, and other readers, some things you should know:

    This particular article from Reuters surprisingly puts it rather harshly, making it sound like the zookeepers suddenly went in to the animal\’s pen and brutally slaughtered the giraffe before onlooking guests.

    The animal was in fact euthanized, then once the autopsy was going on, the zoo opened a roped-off area for guests to observe, having placed signs for all visitors to be forewarned of what was going on in the area beyond. Anyone had the option to simply walk away from this area if they didn\’t choose to see an actual autopsy going on.
    No one was seeing this by accident.
    If horrified children were looking on, it\’s because their parents ushered them into the situation, not the zoo. There were professionals at the site answering the parents\’ and childrens\’ questions while this was happening. Certainly it was done in the most professional manner possible for such an unfortunate situation.

    Zoos such as this one do not sell animals, only trade with other institutions in their network. All other zoos in Copenhagen Zoo\’s network had genetically incompatible giraffes, and there was ultimately no one with whom young Marius could safely breed. Other institutions which the article says reached out to save the animal, perhaps did not have the credentials to meet the zoo\’s standards of care for their animals.

    The potential for the giraffe to have ended up in an abusive living situation, or to be sold on the black market after being sent to another institution outside this zoo\’s network were gauged to be relatively high, and this was considered the most humane decision to prevent a perhaps long but unhappy life for the giraffe.

    If anything, the outcry ought to be directed toward the population management professionals who slacked off when this \”Marius\” and the other death row \”Marius\” were allowed to be bred at all. Prevention of such genetically poorly-planned animals being brought to life would prevent the need for their tragic demise.

    Also, expanding the zoo\’s network of trusted institutions where their genetic misfits can be exchanged would help prevent such situations. Bad publicity like this article is giving will not help that end be met. Professional representation of the actual events would help other zoological institutions reach out to one another to prevent more of this.

    Please reconsider your approach, Inhabitat and readers alike.

    Be proactive, not merely angry. Tell the truth, not just the story.

    I hope a better policy will arise from this unfortunate death and that captive animal populations will be managed better in light of this hard lesson learned.

  3. squashmequickly February 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

    “you don’t do it IN FRONT of everyone. The faces on the little girls were positively traumatized.”

    Denmark is a country where one believes that it is up to the parents to decide what their children should be allowed to see and what they shouldn’t.

    If “envirogal” and all you other “complainers” would start saving the money that you use on clothes, junkfood, makeup, and pop music and donate it to a zoo, and environmental agency, or a conservation charity there might be some chance of getting some of these animals back into the wild.

    … and if you want to stop REAL TRAUMA… go play human shield in one of the many countries in the world where there are wars. This might help protect children from the REAL traumas in their lives.

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

    It is WELL KNOWN that being subjected to witnessing abuse of a person, child, sibling or pet or beloved animal – is equivalent in emotional damage to being subjected to abuse. This was abusive in every respect and a sickening excuse to murder perfectly healthy animals. I KNOW that someone will say well why kill cattle then and feed them to lions, but my god, you don’t do it IN FRONT of everyone. The faces on the little girls were positively traumatized.

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