The Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark decided to kill an adorable healthy giraffefor no good reason. Families and children were invited to watch the skinning and dissection of ‘Marius’ whose remnants were fed to resident carnivores.
Social media and online news is abuzz with public outrage over the needless killing of the 2-year-old male giraffe. Why needless?
Even if the folks at Copenhagen zoo chose to ignore the online petition – that garnered tens of thousand of signatures – and international campaigns condemning the killing, why would they ignore several offers from generous benefactors willing to provide Marius a home.
It makes no sense.
Why did Marius have to die?
The zoo’s ‘scientific director,’ Bengt Holst said in a statement.
“This is done [maintaining a healthy giraffe population] by constantly ensuring that only unrelated giraffes breed so that inbreeding is avoided. If an animal’s genes are well represented in a population further breeding with that particular animal is unwanted.”
Essentially he was not genetically rare enough and the zoo had a duty to avoid inbreeding.
The zoo further pointed out that “We can't all of a sudden change to something we know is worse because of some emotional events happening around us.”
In all fairness, a rational mind can concede to the point that “policies are policies.” But what defies logic is that the zoo turned down the Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s (YWP) offer to take Marius in.
The UK-based parkwas “saddened” by the decision. A spokesperson explained“YWP has 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 stud book keeper."
Two zoos abroad also offered the young giraffe a home. However, not accepting these offers was understandable given that the U.K. zoo already had an abundant supply of Marius’s genetic line. Whereas the other Swedish zoo’s offer was dodgy in that it didn’t guarantee that Marius would not later be sold.
Going back to how the zoo glorified the killing, if there was a point to publically trivializing the bond people shared with Marius, I missed it.
So what do you think? Was Marius’s death justified? Share your feedback with us.