Despite a massive worldwide plea to save the life of a young giraffe, the keepers at Copenhagen Zoo shot Marius earlier today and fed his body to the carnivores in the zoo.
The killing of the giraffe and the dissection of the body was broadcast live and under the gaze of young people who the zoo had invited to watch.
Thousands of people worldwide signed online petitions to try and save the young giraffe who was put down because zoo keepers said was a genetic hazard because of inbreeding.
Marius was given some rye bread and shot with a bolt gun. The zoo has defended its decision saying it had no choice.
Although the one-and-a-half year old giraffe was healthy, his genes were already well-represented at the zoo and he cannot be taken in by the other zoos in the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. EAZA-rules are that inbreeding between giraffes must be avoided.
A Swedish zoo had offered to take in Marius but that offer was rejected and Copenhagen Zoo said Marius was considered “surplus.”
Maria Evans, who started an online petition to try and convince the zoo to find another solution, said the giraffe “deserves to live”.
The zoo have produced him so it is their responsibility to find him a home, no matter how long it takes. They must not be allowed to take the easy option.”
Copenhagen Zoo has previously killed bears, tigers and zebras to stop overbreeding, according to the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
Photo credit: Kasper Palsnov/EPA via The Guardian