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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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