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Four lions put down at Copenhagen Zoo

The Danish zoo that caused international condemnation by putting down a healthy giraffe and dissecting it in public, has killed two lions and their two cubs to make way for a new male.

A spokesman told AFP: "Because of the lions pride, we had to euthanise those who were not old enough to fend for themselves."

(File Photo) A female lion licks a male in a zoo enclosure. Credit: REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

The 10-month-old lions would have been killed by the new male lion "as soon as he got the chance", it said.

The Copenhagen Zoo went ahead with a plan to shoot and dismember a healthy giraffe in February and feed the 18-month-old animal's carcass to lions - an action the zoo said was in line with anti-inbreeding rules meant to ensure a healthy giraffe population.

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. 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.