(ANIMAL WELFARE/ZOOS) DENMARK — Just days after the Copenhagen Zoo viciously shot and killed a healthy giraffe named Marius in an unnecessary attempt to avoid inbreeding, Jyllands Park Zoo released plans to euthanize yet another giraffe.
As if one dead Marius weren’t enough, this second giraffe—ironically also named Marius—might be killed because his genes are also considered “not valuable enough.”
Although the decision has not been set in stone, Marius is still in danger of following the same path as his namesake across town.
“Zoo breeding programmes serve no conservation purpose because animals born in zoos are rarely, if ever, returned to their natural homelands. Instead, zoos spend millions on keeping animals on display like living museum exhibits and dispose of them when they become inconvenient,” PETA said in a statement.
“For anyone who cares about giraffes and other individuals serving life sentences in zoos, the giraffe ‘culling’ should confirm that zoos are hideous institutions that do not deserve public support. The way to protect “exotic” animals is to donate to campaigns that protect them in their native habitats.”
Read the full article below for more on the Jyllands Park Zoo’s irresponsible breeding practices and sign the petition to save Marius’ life. — Global Animal
CNN, Laura Smith-Spark and Zahra Ullah
Could another zoo in Denmark kill a giraffe named Marius?
To some animal lovers, it sounds too terrible to be true, but zoo leaders say it’s anything but a tall tale.
Just days after the Copenhagen Zoo killed a male giraffe named Marius to avoid inbreeding, another zoo said it might follow suit.
Jyllands Park Zoo said Thursday it may also have to “euthanize” one of its male giraffes — coincidentally, also named Marius — if a female is brought in to breed.
Zoologist Jesper Mohring-Jensen told CNN that Jyllands Park Zoo joined the same breeding program as the Copenhagen Zoo last year, which means it can’t have too many giraffes with the same genetic makeup.
The zoo currently has two male giraffes, he said.
One, Marius, is not deemed useful to the program but is a useful companion to the genetically valuable second giraffe, which is in fact an older brother of the Marius killed in Copenhagen.
The zoo wants the second giraffe to mate, so it must bring in a female giraffe.
“At the moment, they are doing very well and are keeping each other company, but if there are some genetically more valuable giraffes in the program that need the space, we have to decide what to do with him,” said Mohring-Jensen.
“We will of course try to place him in a suitable zoo, but if that is not possible, we might have to euthanize him. The program will give us notice well in advance, so I think we will have a good chance of placing him.”
It’s thought that no decision is imminent, “so the problem is not acute,” he said.
The killing of the Copenhagen Zoo’s Marius opened wide divisions between animal lovers and zoo officials concerned about maintaining the genetic diversity of giraffes in the program.
Staff at the zoo received death threats as debate raged online over the killing, which took place despite a petition signed by thousands of animal lovers.
But Lesley Dickie, executive director of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, a European body governing 345 institutions, said those protesting were missing the point.
“I’m afraid that when we have limited space in zoos — and it’s limited because of problems in the wild, of course, and more and more animals need our help — then we sometimes have to make these really tough decisions,” he said.
Bengt Holst, scientific director at the Copenhagen Zoo, told CNN the decision was made for the greater good of the giraffe population.
“Our giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of ensuring a sound and healthy population of giraffes,” he said.
“It can only be done by matching the genetic composition of the various animals with the available space. … When giraffes breed as well as they do now, then you will inevitably run into so-called surplus problems now and then.”
The Copenhagen Zoo’s Marius was shot by a veterinarian with a rifle as he leaned down to munch on rye bread, a favorite snack.
After a necropsy, the giraffe was dismembered in front of an audience that included children and fed to the zoo’s lions, tigers and leopards.