One wonders what the purpose of the Copenhagen Zoo is? First they breed them. Then if they don’t like them or find them surplus to requirements they kill them. They invite zoo visitors to the autopsy. Why not to the executions? A healthy, 18 month old giraffe bred by the Copenhagen Zoo was killed off for being surplus to requirements (genetically)! Why breed it in the first place? And apparently this is standard practice.
If it had been culled in the wild because of an excess population it might have felt different. And the zoo had been offered alternatives.
I hope visitors to the Copenhagen Zoo dry up.
From the Copenhagen Post:
An online petition to save the life of a young giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo is currently accumulating close to 2,000 votes an hour. But all the votes are in vain because the unfortunate animal was destroyed this morning in accordance with the zoo’s policy on in-breeding.
The zoo said it has taken the decision to kill the 18-month-old male giraffe Marius and feed him to some of his fellow animals at the zoo in order to keep the giraffe population “genetically sound”.
“Giraffes today breed very well, and when they do you have to choose and make sure the ones you keep are the ones with the best genes,” Bengt Holst, the scientific director at the zoo, explained to the BBC.
Between 20 and 30 animals are put down in a similar fashion every year, added Holst. According to Ekstra Bladet tabloid, this has included bears, tigers and zebras.
…. Marius was killed by a bolt gun instead of a lethal injection, which would have contaminated the meat.
While most of him will be fed to the carnivores at the zoo, part of his carcass will be used for scientific research. Visitors to the zoo on Sunday were invited to attend the autopsy.
Ottawa Citizen: Copenhagen Zoo turned down offers from other zoos and 500,000 euros ($680,000) from a private individual to save the life of a healthy giraffe before killing and slaughtering it Sunday to follow inbreeding recommendations made by a European association.
The 2-year-old male giraffe, named Marius, was put down using a bolt pistol and its meat will be fed to carnivores at the zoo, spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro said. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was dissected.
Marius’ plight triggered a wave of online protests and renewed debate about the conditions of zoo animals. Before the giraffe was killed, an online petition to save it had received more than 20,000 signatures.
Stenbaek Bro said the zoo, which now has seven giraffes left, was recommended to put down Marius by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria because there were already a lot of giraffes with similar genes in the organization’s breeding program.
The Amsterdam-based EAZA has 347 members, including many large zoos in European capitals, and works to conserve global biodiversity and to achieve the highest standards of care and breeding for animals.
Bengt Holst is the scientific director of Copenhagen Zoo who has implemented this policy of the EAZA.
Zoos are of course just places of entertainment for humans and I don’t really think they perform any other useful function. And I don’t much believe that their much vaunted “conservation” which consists of freezing an unsuccessful species in an artificial habitat does that species any service at all.
Meanwhile in the UK: lioness and cubs who were the pride of Longleat are put down