(Copenhagen, Denmark) – The Copenhagen Zoo yesterday killed Marius, a 2-year-old giraffe. As if this wasn’t bad enough, zoo visitors – including children – were then treated to watching zoo employees skin the animal and feed its remains to the zoo’s lions. It’s hard to decide which part of this story is the worst part of the story.
Marius, who had no health conditions and no bad habits other than enjoying an occasional cigarette and drink of scotch after dinner, was killed with a pistol in the name of preventing inbreeding. In short, his only crime was having similar genes to many other giraffes.
In spite of efforts to spare Marius, including a petition with over 20,000 signatories and monetary offers from zoos and private citizens to take the giraffe, the zoo went forward with the killing.
Even the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chimed in. “We regret that the Copenhagen Zoo had to put down the giraffe in such a public and brutal manner,” said a FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But there’s definitely a case for preventing inbreeding. Americans need to look no further than the stars of today’s reality shows to know just how dangerous it can be.”
As far as letting children witness the gruesome scene – which proved popular with visitors – zoo officials said that the episode was “an important display of scientific knowledge about animals.”
“Children now know what to do if they’re attacked by a giraffe,” said a Copenhagen Zoo spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And they also know what would likely happen if they found themselves face-to-face with a lion. Granted, you don’t find yourself face-to-face with a lion that much in Copenhagen, but it’s best to be prepared.”