Here’s a headline I don’t think I can ever beat: “Zookeepers kill healthy baby giraffe with a bolt gun because he was ‘surplus to requirements’ and then feed him to the lions but not before doing an autopsy in front of young children.”
There’s a lot going on there. What you need to know is that the Danish DON’T PLAY.
This weekend, zookeepers at the world-famous Copenhagen Zoo killed a two-year-old giraffe named Marius—combating the stereotype that you don’t kill animals you take the time to name—because Marius was too genetically similar to the other giraffes in the zoo’s breeding program. Marius could have caused inbreeding, and no one wants to see a giraffe with a hoof sticking out of his ass.
So Marius was publicly skinned, chopped up and fed to a lion. All in front of school children, no less. Here are the little tykes taking in the show:
— Sea Wild Earth (@themoceanvibe) February 9, 2014
The zoo calls its medieval display “educational,” but naturally, there’s been an outcry. 20,000 people signed a petition requesting the giraffe not be killed, and at least one European zoo offered to take Marius off Copenhagen’s hands.
A spokesman for the Copenhagen Zoo said, though, that “the rules of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria meant animals could not be transferred to institutions that did not follow its rules on breeding programs.” He continues:
A spokesman said parents were allowed to decide whether their children should watch what the zoo regarded as an important display of scientific knowledge about animals, adding that it would have been ‘foolish’ to let the meat go to waste.
According to Danish media, Copenhagen Zoo destroys 20-30 animals a year, including bears, tigers and zebras.
Here’s a hot take: There is no issue here. Zoos kill dozens of animals each year that endanger their breeding program. Marius isn’t exactly special. And the lion? He isn’t pounding lentil soup. He eats meat. I hope the giraffe was tasty.
In fact, why does Marius get a petition when Babe the Pig is currently working his way through a lion’s lower intestine without so much as an eyebrow raise? Dare I say it? THIS IS SPECIST. IT’S SPECIST, DAMMIT.
[H/T: Daily Mail]