Ask Zoo to Stop Euthanizing Baby Animals

Target: Copenhagen Zoo officials

Goal: Use contraception to prevent unwanted animal births, rather than euthanizing young animals

Most zoos in the United States faced with limited resources for caring for baby animals choose to use various methods of contraception in order to prevent their animals from giving birth. The Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark, however, allows its animals to have babies even when zoo officials are unwilling or unable to care for the young animals. The zoo allows parent animals to raise their young until the babies reach the age that they would naturally separate from their parents, then the young are euthanized.

Copenhagen Zoo officials feel that it’s healthier for adult animals to give birth and raise young, even if the young are eventually euthanized, than it is to prevent the animals from giving birth. Zoo workers put down an average of between 20 and 30 healthy baby animals a year. This includes animals such as gazelles, chimps, and hippopotamuses. The zoo recently euthanized two healthy leopard cubs, despite the fact that leopards are a threatened species. Zoo director Bengt Holst has been quoted stating that since zoos limit animals’ natural abilities, they should at least be allowed to experience being parents. This is the same type of argument that backyard dog breeders often use. The fact of the matter is that animals in captivity should be able to live out happy lives without producing offspring. If Copenhagen Zoo officials feel that their animals are lacking stimulation, the ideal solution would be for them to provide the animals with more to do rather than allowing the animals to reproduce and then killing the healthy young.

Is it more than a coincidence that babies, the biggest crowd pleasers, are allowed to live only until they outgrow their cute baby stage? If zoos cannot provide for baby animals born in their facilities, than they should not be allowing their animals to breed. It’s inhumane to allow adult animals to produce offspring when zoo officials know they are unable to care for the young. There are other, much more humane, ways of providing stimulation for zoo animals besides allowing them to raise young. By signing this petition you are asking the Copenhagen Zoo officials to stop breeding animals when they know they cannot care for the young, and to stop euthanizing healthy young animals.


Dear Copenhagen Zoo officials,

Your practice of euthanizing young animals rather than preventing their births in the first place is unacceptable. There are many ways to provide animals with mental and physical stimulation other than allowing them to raise young. It seems like more than a coincidence that babies are allowed to live only until they outgrow their cute baby stage. Why would you purposely allow animals to have babies when you are fully aware that you are unable or unwilling to provide for the young animals continued care?

How do you think zoo patrons would feel if they knew that the cute baby animals they enjoy watching are destined to be killed? It’s inhumane to allow adult animals to produce offspring and then euthanize them when they are no longer tiny and cute. Please find another, more humane way to provide stimulation to your animals and only allow them to breed when you are able to ensure their continued care.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Liz Godber says:

    Please stop this appaling practice which is truly barbaric and causes distres to many peope but especially the animal mothers. Please use contraception or neuter the animals if you do not want them to breed. Thanks Liz

  2. How about spay and neuter as we do for our pets, to prevent these acts of cruelty.

  3. set them free at least!

  4. This is insane. What’s wrong with the people in that zoo. This is an atrocity. If you can’t manage to be good zookeepers. Theb shut down the zoo. Then maybe when you get your degrees on how to run a zoo properly you might be able to open a zoo again. But until then you need to be shut down. You also need to answer for your crimes against humanity and the rest of the animals in your supposed care. You people are pure evil.

  5. Clara Curtis says:

    These animals are supposed to be WILD animals. Zoos should feel privileged to even have these animals in the first place. For them to feel they have the right to terminate the animals life’s for some pathetic reasoning is despicable.

  6. There is something definitely rotten at the Copenhagen Zoo. The same zoo that euthanized a young giraffe named Marius a couple of years ago for no other reason that the giraffe was surplus!

  7. Lucy Kelly says:

    Ppl shd ask these zoo ppl, every time they see a new baby animal, if the zoos intend to keep it/if its needed for a breeding program. If the zoos dont intend to keep it, they shd try to get hold of the animals.

  8. Lucy Kelly says:

    .. Animals in breeding programs are there because their genes are needed in the wild. THEREFORE WHY CANT THEY BE RELEASED INTO THE WILD?! Even if they were merely released without acclimation to their natural environment, some at least wd survive!

  9. Renate Ingelsheim says:

    You Dansk zoo keepers are insane !! You idiot of a Bengt Holst, how would you like it if your kids are put down if they were 18 years cause there are too many unemployed ?? What if humans can’t care for babies but they keep them cause ‘they are so cute’ and do them away/kill them after 12 or 14 years ?? Then you better can sterilize them, beginning with all 700 million children on earth with an congenital disease/anomaly, stray cats/dogs and older zoo-animals so we can CARE for all living thing on earth.

  10. The only reason for breeding is the babies being in the people to see the cute baby. When it is weaned from the mother they are now a unwanted burden. So they kill them off. It is for profit only. Not the best intersted of the parents.

  11. Imprigionati, abusati e uccisi…
    Come è possibile non vergognarsi profondamente di fare questo a delle bellissime creature senzienti, indifese, innocenti.
    Impariamo a rispettare, ad amare, a lasciare in pace gli altri esseri viventi che desiderano – giustamente – vivere senza soffrire, come noi umani … e ne hanno tutto il diritto!!!


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