Condemn Euthanization of Healthy Giraffe


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

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  1. Robert Ortiz says:

    How could they have done something so cruel like that to such a sweet baby animal? It’s beyond me how they can live with themselves when they’re so cold and clinical.

  2. Johanna Janssen says:

    Fire this creep immediately, before he will get another
    stupid idea into his inbred head of killing other beautiful
    animals. I hope he will get hell for ignoring the wishes of so many people to save the life of this beautiful young animal. He probably has a sadistic urge also to call people and their children to come and have a look. ButI find those
    also creepy, because there did not one out of the public to try to stop this terrible slaughter. What a shit bunch.

  3. vicki ginoli says:

    This person BENGT HOLST should NOT be running a zoo – he does not have any compassion toward the lives of animals – he thinks of them as things and not a living creature.

    This is a low class, uneducated man who does not care about the animals and should NEVER be in a position of running a facility where animals are the prime concern.

    I’d pay to see the bolt gun used on him – the pain he’s caused.


  4. Cold hearted and cruel. The giraffe could of gone to another zoo, but no this slimeball had such hatred in him he killed this poor animal.

  5. This is totally reprehensible! To allow the public to watch is horrific! Bengt Holst, what a monster he is, he calls himself a “care giver” of animals?? I’m NOT surprised at all that people just stood by and let this happen! It goes on way too often, that there are onlookers, and they do NOTHING to stop such egregious actions! Shame on all of them!!!
    Bengt Holst will burn in HELL.

  6. This happens quite often.Zoos overbreed the animals because babies attract visitors. Often, when no longer cute, they are disposed of by euthanasia, or even sent to a hunting ranch. Sometimes they are sent to a research lab. The Copenhagen Zoo, especially, has done this before. Even the San Diego Zoo has. Please do not support zoos, they are animal prisons. They are about money, make no mistake, not education. You want education, watch a documentary or google the animal.


  8. olimpia marina says:

    Those criminals should be in prison for long term.

  9. Larry Colley Larry Colley says:

    euthenize bengt holst and his band of butchers Feed them to the lions , That will increase profits for this SAD zoo It will be packed to the brim with for the entertainment, Wake up denmark get rid of this misguided idiot HOIST.he is letting your nation down . (BAN ALL ANIMAL PRISONS/ZOOS)

  10. Larry Colley Larry Colley says:

    euthanize bengt holst and his band of butchers Feed them to the lions , That will increase profits for this SAD zoo It will be packed to the brim with for the entertainment, Wake up denmark get rid of this misguided idiot HOIST.he is letting your nation down . (BAN ALL ANIMAL PRISONS/ZOOS)

  11. Bengt Holst is a murderer of the worst sort. Marius was born at the Copenhagen Zoo, only to be murdered there when he was only eighteen months old. He was a beautiful, healthy giraffe with beautiful genes. He was not “surplus”, as the evil Bengt Holst lied. The zoo just wanted to make further profit off of him by killing him and feeding him to the lions. To throw him to lions in front of children is the coldest act of cruelty imaginable. Denmark has legalized the rape of animals! This is true. Denmark is an evil country. Do not go there and do not buy any Danish products.

  12. Denmark is the lowest country on the planet. Norway and Sweden have to see these baggers from across the way. I’m not surprised at all by their cold- heartedness, that society isn’t known for compassion exactly. All Denmark ever invented was savagery, arrogance and addicts shooting crack in the parks. What a freaking list of accomplishments. They also have a propensity for wanting negative attention, well they’re getting it now in the biggest way! RIP Marius rest well in Heaven .

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