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Staff at a Danish zoo where a healthy giraffe was euthanized have received death threats as debate rages online over the killing, which took place despite a petition signed by thousands of animal lovers.

Several staff members were targeted after the animal, named Marius, was put down, Copenhagen Zoo spokesman Tobias Stenb?k Bro told CNN on Monday. He added that Bengt Holst, director of research and conservation at Copenhagen Zoo "received threats via telephone and e-mails."

While some American zoo officials have said this is not standard practice for their facilities, the executive director of a European body governing 345 institutions has said that this can be chalked up to a misunderstanding about what is "normal in Danish culture" and that zoological experts could do a better job of communicating.

"People have perhaps lost sight of the bigger picture and perhaps we as zoos have not been good at explaining why on very few occasions we need to make decisions like this," said Lesley Dickie, executive director of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

The Copenhagen Zoo said it euthanized Marius on Sunday to avoid inbreeding. A veterinarian shot Marius with a rifle as he leaned down to munch on rye bread, a favorite snack. After an autopsy the giraffe was dismembered in front of an audience that included children and fed to the zoo's lions, tigers and leopards.

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Kiling it was one thing, but they skinned it, chopped it up, and fed it to the lions....in public view.

 

Refusing several hundred thousand in offers to purchase the animal....strange, no?

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Agree with John.

Several offers of re-homing were made in different countries, even the U.S and still they went ahead, not only with killing an animal in front of children, but then skinned and dismembered the carcass in front of them.

Not appropriate, and not cool. If this is the kind of short sighted view held with regards to animal`s life`s within a Zoo, then its time to seriously look at how that Zoo is run and managed.

Especially in light of such a public campaign to safe the animal.

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It is disgusting.

Then to do it infront of an audience that includes kids. It is terrible. It isn't like the zoo was showing them how it is Nature either.

 

Whoever made this decision should be euthanized.

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I'm not an animal rights activist, but what they did is beyond cruel and made me quite sick. I'm not saying they deserve the threats, but for sure I do not feel sorry for them.

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no animal in the wild dies of old age. they will all be killed by another animal at some point in their life.

 

also this zoo has had giraffes since the 40's, im sure they know what their doing with breeding patterns

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no animal in the wild dies of old age. they will all be killed by another animal at some point in their life.

 

also this zoo has had giraffes since the 40's, im sure they know what their doing with breeding patterns

 

Even if they do. To do it in front of an audience which included children and to refuse other countries to re-home it for them. Is terrible.

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I'm not an animal rights activist, but what they did is beyond cruel and made me quite sick. I'm not saying they deserve the threats, but for sure I do not feel sorry for them.

It is; and everyone should be an animal right activist. We should not put ourselves above the other animals; in the end we are animals just like them; and we too want to be treated right.

This is sickening.

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Kiling it was one thing, but they skinned it, chopped it up, and fed it to the lions....in public view.

 

And they did it in front of children...and were actually proud of this :|

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Kiling it was one thing, but they skinned it, chopped it up, and fed it to the lions....in public view.

 

Refusing several hundred thousand in offers to purchase the animal....strange, no?

With that kind of money, you could protect thousands of acres of tropical rainforest containing millions of endangered animals, or completely eradicate malaria from several villages of third-world countries, rather than attempt to prolong the life of a single animal.

 

It's good that these people show humane sentiments for animals, but their efforts are completely misguided.

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I get the outrage over killing and cutting the giraffe up in front of children...that is disgusting. However the outrage over the killing itself?

Millions of cats and dogs are euthanized at pet shelters all over America and the world because nobody wanted to adopt them. They're usually all perfectly healthy, but we still kill them to control their population. But most people are perfectly fine with that. There's no massive public outrage over people who refuse to neuter their pets or buy them from breeders. There's no outrage over shelters that put down perfectly healthy animals because nobody wanted them.

It's pretty much the same thing, just a different place.

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I get the outrage over killing and cutting the giraffe up in front of children...that is disgusting. However the outrage over the killing itself?

Millions of cats and dogs are euthanized at pet shelters all over America and the world because nobody wanted to adopt them. They're usually all perfectly healthy, but we still kill them to control their population. But most people are perfectly fine with that. There's no massive public outrage over people who refuse to neuter their pets or buy them from breeders. There's no outrage over shelters that put down perfectly healthy animals because nobody wanted them.

It's pretty much the same thing, just a different place.

Those are valid points, but giraffes aren't as prevalent as dogs and cats.  While most of the breeds aren't officially labeled "endangered" there aren't that many in the world, and they aren't easy to breed.

 

Regardless, if somebody had a dog that people were willing to buy, but the owner killed it anyway, there would also be an outrage.  That's the true issue here.

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Regardless, if somebody had a dog that people were willing to buy, but the owner killed it anyway, there would also be an outrage. That's the true issue here.

I don't know why the zoo didn't accept the offer, I mean most of them (at least here in America, can't say about the world) are always super happy to get money. So it does seem strange that they wouldn't consider any offer made for the animal.

As for the species being close to endangered, this giraffe was born in a zoo and bred in captivity. It's essentially useless as far as preserving the species is concerned. Sure zoos like to talk about how successfully are at releasing a few animals into the wild but what they don't tell you is that those animals end up dying pretty fast because they have very little to no survival instincts what so ever. And that's the biggest problem with Zoos and why I feel like they need to be inspected a lot more throughly than they are now. Most of the time the animal is suffering in some way and nobody really cares because well "OH look at the cute monkey"

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I wonder how many giraffes have been killed and eaten by predators in the wild during the past few days people have been throwing an internet fit over this giraffe being killed and fed to carnivores.

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With that kind of money, you could protect thousands of acres of tropical rainforest containing millions of endangered animals, or completely eradicate malaria from several villages of third-world countries, rather than attempt to prolong the life of a single animal.

We're talking about Zoos here...they can do what they like with their monies, but you can be pretty certain it'll revolve around animals.

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I get the outrage over killing and cutting the giraffe up in front of children...that is disgusting. 

I honestly don't understand how that is disgusting. No cruelty took place there. It was an educational opportunity for visitors of the zoo. As a child, I saw many such things in documentaries about nature (seeing a lion kill a gazelle, or wolves rip apart their prey) and simply developed a better understanding because of it.

 

Perhaps this is just a cultural divide between the US and these countries.

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what is the touted 'educational values' of dismembering a giraffe in front children?

It would likely have been lecture on the biology of a giraffe. We have a TV show that broadcasts animal autopsies in the UK :).

I wouldn't claim to understand the entirety of the reasoning behind the euthanasia, but my understanding is that the animal was inbred (or close enough to be considered such) and that it potentially risked introducing a generation of offspring with genetic conditions which they took the choice to avoid. I don't know why the animal couldn't just have been neutered though. Seems a bit more humane than killing it entirely, but then I don't know the first thing about giraffe genetics, so I'm sure they have a good reason, especially when they're turning down such large offers to buy the animal.

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I honestly don't understand how that is disgusting. No cruelty took place there. It was an educational opportunity for visitors of the zoo. As a child, I saw many such things in documentaries about nature (seeing a lion kill a gazelle, or wolves rip apart their prey) and simply developed a better understanding because of it.

 

Perhaps this is just a cultural divide between the US and these countries.

 

It's one thing for it to happen in nature, but it's a different story when you intentionally create a scenario and showcase it as some kind of spectacle.

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