The administration of the Copenhagen Zoo decided to kill a healthy giraffe to prevent inbreeding. The body of the two-year giraffe named Marius was dismembers in front of visitors that included children and fed to lions.
The press secretary of the zoo explained that it was for parents to decide whether their children could watch the process. "In fact, I am proud. I think we gave children an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with giraffe anatomy, which they could not see on photos," the official said.
As for the fact of the killing, the zoo received the recommendation from the European Association of Zoos. There are too many males with same genes, like Marius, in the breeding program of giraffes.
As many as 20,000 people signed an online petition in support of Marius. An anonymous individual offered to buy Marius from the zoo for 500,000 euros. The offer was rejected as the zoo did not own the animal, but rather supervised it. Therefore, the zoo could not sell the animal to those who were not members of the Association of Zoos.