Despite public outcry, a young and perfectly healthy giraffe was killed at the Copenhagen Zoo, simply to “prevent inbreeding.”
While a petition circulated and zoos from around the globe offered to take in the giraffe, the Danish zoo instead killed the giraffe with a bolt gun and fed its body to their lions and other carnivorous cats, all in front of an audience.
“Our giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of ensuring a sound and healthy population of giraffes,” Bengt Holst, scientific director at Copenhagen Zoo, told CNN. “It can only be done by matching the genetic composition of the various animals with the available space. … When giraffes breed as well as they do now, then you will inevitably run into so-called surplus problems now and then.”
When asked about sterilizing the giraffe instead, Holst answered, ”If we just sterilize him, he will take up space for more genetically valuable giraffes.” Holst also said that the crowd watching the autopsy and subsequent feeding were “enthusiastic” about what was happening and that children “asked good questions.”
Clearly a kinder, more compassionate avenue could have been taken for the future of this two year old giraffe. Other options were out there, but the Copenhagen Zoo decided to go with, what? The easier option? The more “exciting” option, one that would bring them attention and more visitors?
This whole ordeal is just another valid example of why zoos are not worth visiting.
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