The Danish zoo that killed the healthy giraffe is again facing controversy over its most recent decision to cull more animals.
The zoo killed two ageing lions and two cubs, citing the decision to put down the animals after the arrival of a new male.
Last month, the zoo drew waves of protests over its decision to put down one of its giraffes and feed the carcass to lions.
In a statement, the zoo said it had to put down the lions to make room for the new, nearly three-year-old male, saying it would not have been accepted by the pride if the older male – aged 16 – were still around.
“Furthermore we couldn’t risk that the male lion mated with the old female as she was too old to be mated with again due to the fact she would have difficulties with birth and parental care of another litter.”
Officials said the cubs were also killed because they were not old enough to fend for themselves and would have been killed by the new male lion.
Zoo officials hope the new male and two females born in 2012 will form the nucleus of a new pride. The culling may seem harsh, but in nature the zoo said it
is necessary to ensure a strong pride of lions with the greatest chance of survival.”
The zoo has received an online petition with nearly 50,000 signatures calling on it to stop killing healthy animals.
Each year, thousands of animals are culled in European zoos for a variety of reasons. Zoo managers say their job is to preserve species, not individual animals.
h/t: Associated Press
Photo credit: The Guardian
Here’s a video from the zoo about why it made the decision it did: