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Danish Zoo Kills Baby Giraffe

The scientific director of the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark has received death threats after the zoo killed a healthy two-year-old giraffe to avoid inbreeding more than a week ago.

Bengt Holst, the director, said that it was the right decision on the zoo’s part, and he would do it again. Inbreeding of animals within captivity leads to a limited gene pool, which could cause problems mentally and physically for the species.

Before the giraffe, named Marius was killed; there was a large effort to save his life. A petition that was sent out to received more than a thousand signatures. Multiple donors offered large sums of money to save the giraffe’s life.

But it was all for not. On Monday, February 10th, Marius was given his favorite meal, rye bread, and was then shot.

The death took place in public view, including in front of young children, who watched as employees of the zoo chopped up the body. The meat from Marius’s carcass was fed to other carnivores animals in the zoo, while some samples were sent to a research project in Denmark for study.

Four days after the Copenhagen Zoo put down Marius, rumors swirled that the Jyllands Park Zoo in Denmark may plan to put down another giraffe, coincidentally named Marius, in order to provide for an equal female-to-male ratio of giraffes in the zoo.

The Jyllands Park Zoo said last Friday that those rumors are false. “We will of course keep both our giraffes, as we have stated all along,” the release said. “There is no plan, and there has never been a plan to neither move or euthanize any of our giraffes.”


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