Target: Copenhagen Zoo Scientific Director, Bengt Holst
Goal: Discontinue the practice of destroying healthy zoo animals
The Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark recently euthanized a healthy giraffe, allegedly in order to avoid inbreeding. Though multiple organizations had offered to rehome the surplus giraffe as an alternative, and many petitions urged the zoo to save the young animal, Copenhagen Zoo destroyed the 2 year-old named Marius instead. Condemn this decision and demand that Copenhagen Zoo change its business practices to save healthy animals in the future.
Rather than giving Marius a humane and dignified death, Copenhagen Zoo destroyed the animal with a bolt gun instead of lethal injection as they planned to publicly dissect him after death and feed the carcass to carnivores of the zoo. Onlookers, including young children, were invited to watch as Marius was cut open, dismembered, and fed to the lions.
Organizations that offered to save Marius were upset by the outcome and animal rights activists were disgusted. “It just shows that the zoo is in fact not the ethical institution that it wants to portray itself as being, because here you have a waste product – that being Marius…Here we have a zoo which thinks that putting this giraffe down instead of thinking of alternatives is the best option,” stated Stine Jensen of Denmark’s Organisation Against the Suffering of Animals.
One private individual offered to buy Marius for $680,000, but even this proposition was declined.
Worst of all, the zoo seems to think of its animals as meaningless objects rather than the sentient creatures they are. Bengt Holst, the scientific director at the zoo, defended the incident: “Giraffes today breed very well, and when they do you have to chose and make sure the ones you keep are the ones with the best genes.” Giraffe eugenics does not excuse the culling of young animals when alternative options are available.
Urge this zoo to conduct such matters with responsibility in the future. If a young and healthy animal can be rehomed instead of destroyed, then all measures should be taken to ensure that his life is spared.
Dear Copenhagen Zoo,
Recently, a young and healthy giraffe named Marius was destroyed, allegedly in order to avoid inbreeding at Copenhagen Zoo. While many offers were given to rehome and save this animal’s life, your facility made the poor decision to kill him, publicly dissect his body, and then feed the remains to lions. This incident illustrates your lack of compassion for the animals of your zoo. While alternative methods existed in order to save Marius, you chose to end his life anyway.
I urge you to exercise better judgment in the future and accept offers to rehome your animals if you face another similar situation again. Euthanization is rarely the only option, and in this case, there is no excuse for your actions. Stop destroying healthy young zoo animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: JessicaOndrejicka via Flickr