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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.