Zoo scientist: Save giraffe campaign went 'much too far'

Copenhagen Zoo have confirmed they put down a healthy young giraffe this morning despite a massive online campaign to save it. Yorkshire Wildlife Park said they were saddened by the news following their offer to rehome the animal.

Latest ITV News reports

Zoo staff receive deaths threats over Marius the giraffe

Marius the giraffe was put down and later fed to the zoo's lions Credit: EBU

Staff at a Copenhagen Zoo where a healthy giraffe was put down despite a massive online campaign to save it have received death threats, CNN reports.

Copenhagen Zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbæk Bro said that several members of staff were targeted including Bengt Holst, Director of Research and Conservation who "received threats via telephone and emails."

Two-year-old Marius was put down despite an offer to rehome him at The Yorkshire Wildlife Park in accordance with European guidelines aimed at preventing inbreeding.

Advertisement

Longleat defends lion cull after rise in pregnancies

Lions are among the star attractions at Longleat Safari Park, which opened in 1966. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Archive

One of Britain's most popular safari parks has defended a decision to cull six lions after an increase in pregnancies, which staff said had caused "excessive violent behaviour".

Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire said a lioness and her cubs were suffering from "neurological development disorders" and ruled euthanasia was the "responsible option".

The explanation on the the park's Facebook page was met by a mixed reaction from the public.

The cull comes after a public campaign failed to stop Copenhagen Zoo from killing a young male giraffe.

Read: Yorkshire Safari Park 'saddened' by giraffe killing

Yorkshire Wildlife Park 'saddened' by giraffe's killing

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park said it was "saddened" to learn a healthy, young giraffe had been put down, despite offering a home to the two-year-old animal.

ITV News' Sue Saville reports, the zoo in Denmark destroyed the young male giraffe in accordance with European guidelines aimed at preventing inbreeding.

Warning: Some viewers may find some images in the following video distressing

Copenhagen Zoo 'not ethical institution', activist says

Marius, the giraffe killed and fed to lions after a decision by Copenhagen Zoo.
Marius, the giraffe killed and fed to lions after a decision by Copenhagen Zoo. Credit: EBU

A Danish animal activist says the killing of a healthy giraffe "should not have occurred" and was proof Copenhagen Zoo is "not the ethical institution that it wants to portray itself as being".

"Here we have a zoo which thinks that putting this giraffe down instead of thinking of alternatives is the best option," Stine Jensen, from Denmark's Organisation Against the Suffering of Animals, said.

The post mortem examination of the animal was broadcast live on the Internet, the BBC reported.

Zoo: Campaign to save giraffe went 'much too far'

Copenhagen Zoo's scientific director Bengt Holst has said the campaign to save a healthy, young giraffe had gone "much too far".

Mr Holst said all zoos had been considered to rehouse Marius, but there was no place - including at Yorkshire, where any space should be saved for a genetically more important giraffe.

He told the BBC it was responsible practice for zoos to manage animal populations to ensure they remained healthy.

Advertisement

Online outrage as giraffe autopsy pictures emerge

Internet users have been expressing their outrage at the killing of Marius, a healthy giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo.

Read: Copenhagen giraffe 'killed and dissected for lion food'

Local Danish news agency BT said many families came to see the autopsy of the animal, performed by a member of staff in a white overalls and green gloves.

Pictures appear to show the member of staff explaining the process to the assembled visitors.

150d07b7838e2690d54b34f3235bdd9c_normal

So not only does Copenhagen Zoo kill a young, healthy giraffe, but it turns it into a spectacle? Confused. http://t.co/skDG7OrSpw

Bgbyg8ocyaanxex

Yorkshire Wildlife Park said it was saddened to hear the news the animal was destroyed. It had contacted the centre yesterday to offer to rehome it.

Read: UK zoo offers to rehome Danish giraffe

Copenhagen Zoo confirms giraffe has been destroyed

Copenhagen Zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro has confirmed that 18 month-year-old giraffe 'Marius' has been put down.

The animal was killed this morning using a bolt pistol and its meat will be fed to carnivores in the zoo this afternoon.

Read: Copenhagen giraffe killed and dissected for lion food

Stenbaek Bro says the zoo was recommended to put down the giraffe 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.

Copenhagen giraffe 'killed and dissected for lion food'

Plans to save a young giraffe from being put down in Copenhagen Zoo have failed, local Danish news agency BT is reporting.

The giraffe was killed at 10am local time according to the agency, and subsequently dissected to be used as feed for the lions.

Animal rights campaigners are said to have gathered outside the zoo to protest against the killing.

Read: UK zoo offers to rehome Danish giraffe facing death

Read: Copenhagen zoo defends destroying health giraffe

Yorkshire zoo 'saddened' by giraffe death reports

The UK zoo that offered to rehome a young giraffe facing death in Copenhagen Zoo, has said that it is "saddened" by reports that it had been killed. Yorkshire Wildlife Park said in a statement it had contacted the Danish zoo, but did not hear back:

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is saddened to hear reports from Copenhagen that 18 month old giraffe Marius has been euthansed.

When news of the plan was revealed on Saturday YWP immediately contacted Copenhagen Zoo via YWP's Head of Hoofstock who is Danish and explained to the zoo why the Park urgently wished to speak to the zoo and requested a call to confirm the situation regarding the giraffe.

YWP confirmed that they had contacted the zoo but had not heard back.

YWP has a state of the art giraffe house built in 2012 with a bachelor herd of 4 male giraffes and the capacity to take an extra male, subject to the agreement of the European stud book keeper.

One of the YWP giraffes is Palle, who came from Copenhagen Zoo in September 2012, when he was the same age as Marius.

Read: UK zoo 'offers to rehome' Danish giraffe facing death

Read: Copenhagen zoo defends destroying health giraffe

Load more updates