Danish animal welfare group backs zoo's giraffe killing

Feb 11, 2014
This handout photo released on February 11, 2014 shows a veterinarian making an open to public autopsy on giraffe Marius on February 9, 2014 at a zoo in Copenhagen

Denmark's largest animal welfare charity said Tuesday it supported a Copenhagen zoo's decision to kill a healthy giraffe and feed it to lions in front of children.

"We trust that the very well educated experts at Copenhagen Zoo have explored the possibilities of placing the giraffe in another ," said Tina Engberg, the spokeswoman for Dyrens Beskyttelse, a group that runs animal shelters and wildlife care centres across the country.

"A lot of zoos have extensive breeding programmes and contribute greatly to knowledge dissemination," she added.

According to its website, the organisation provides "practical help for in distress".

"You can also find bad zoos, but Copenhagen Zoo is one of those that is part of international breeding work," Engberg said.

Some animal protection groups have made statements about the killing of Marius, the 18-month-old giraffe, without having all the facts, she claimed.

"There are lots of other situations where animal populations are regulated," she said, citing Scandinavian moose hunting and British rabbit hunting.

Zoo staff in Copenhagen received death threats after Marius was put down on Sunday despite thousands signing an online petition to save him.

The animal was later skinned and dissected in front of visitors, many of whom were children.

But many Danes have been surprised and even angered by international reactions to the event.

A video of the zoo's scientific director Bengt Holst putting a British news presenter "in his place" went viral in Denmark on Tuesday.

"Give a prize to that man," one magazine wrote.

The zoo has said it had no choice other than to prevent the animal attaining adulthood, since under European Association of Zoos and Aquaria rules, inbreeding between giraffes is to be avoided.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park said it was "saddened" to hear that the animal had been killed, after contacting the Copenhagen zoo on Saturday to adopt Marius.

But the Danish zoo turned down the offer, saying the wildlife park should give its space to a "genetically more important" .

Explore further: Telling the time of day by color

Related Stories

Danish zoo kills giraffe to prevent inbreeding

Feb 09, 2014

Saying it needed to prevent inbreeding, the Copenhagen Zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions as visitors watched, ignoring a petition signed by thousands and offers from other zoos ...

Danes defend zoo's killing of healthy giraffe

Feb 10, 2014

Many Danes on Monday defended the killing of a healthy but inbred giraffe at Copenhagen's zoo that triggered outrage after it was chopped up and fed to lions in front of visitors.

Recommended for you

Telling the time of day by color

9 hours ago

Research by scientists at The University of Manchester has revealed that the colour of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. ...

Aphrodisiac for fish and frogs discovered

15 hours ago

A supplement simply added to water has been shown to boost reproduction in nematodes (roundworms), molluscs, fish and frogs – and researchers believe it could work for humans too.

Evolution puts checks on virgin births

15 hours ago

It seems unnatural that a species could survive without having sex. Yet over the ages, evolution has endowed females of certain species of amphibians, reptiles and fish with the ability to clone themselves, ...

Humans can't resist those puppy-dog eyes

Apr 16, 2015

When humans and their four-legged, furry best friends look into one another's eyes, there is biological evidence that their bond strengthens, researchers report.

Roundworm parasite targets canine eyes

Apr 16, 2015

(HealthDay)—A small number of dogs and cats across the United States have been infected by a roundworm parasite that targets the eye, according to a new report.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.