Danish giraffes – are they the unhappiest in world right now?

I have not written for quite some time now… But this week a piece of news was brought to my attention and I felt morally obliged to report it here, as opposed to unreliable websites, who seem to think that blocking the views of the public is quite alright… Yes Trip Advisor – I’m talking about you! More of that after the crux of the story here.

I do apologise in advance to those of you who are going to find this post offensive, sad or ‘not your bag’ – and expect me to write more of a fun update, after neglecting this blog site for quite a while.  I may try and begin to post more soon, depending on any significant changes/updates here.  But, for now…

Location: Copenhagen Zoo

Subject: Marius the innocent, healthy, young giraffe

MariusApparently, this poor giraffe was fed some “healthy” rye bread and then shortly afterwards, got shot (with a bolt gun). The carcass was then skinned/dissected/cut up and fed to the lions! And, get this – in front of visitors (including very young children) and all whilst being streamed via live footage – by Ekstra Bladet, a Danish newspaper.

Reason:  because of European laws on inbreeding!

Surely there was a way of ensuring that the giraffe could not breed in future, resolving the existing over-represented giraffe genes. And… why let this giraffe be born in the first place, if it’s fate was doomed from the start?  Also, other zoos had offered to take on this giraffe, including the Yorkshire Wildlife Park here in the UK! 

Thousands of people (20,000+) signed a petition to save Marius – this campaign obviously fell on very deaf ears.  Obviously the zoo had their own ideas and thought the rest of the world wouldn’t notice!

However, it’s not bad enough that the reason given was lame. This tragedy was turned into a ‘crowd puller’, and who knows why children were allowed to bear witness to this (via parental consent)! Workers wore green rubber gloves and carried out the dissection, while an announcer guided the visitors through the whole process.

Quote from the Zoo Spokesman (Stenbaek Bro):-

“I’m actually proud because I think we have given children a huge understanding of the anatomy of a giraffe that they wouldn’t have had from watching a giraffe in a photo,”

I’d be surprised if these children were not a) traumatised by the whole event, or b) led to believe that it’s ok for animals to be treated in this disgusting way.

Quotes from the Zoo Director (Bengt Holst) to Danish TV2 include:

“We know we are doing the right thing,”

“The many reactions don’t change our attitude to what we do. It’s very important to us that we take responsibility throughout. We need to have as healthy a stock as possible so we avoid inbreeding.”

Yeah, because you really ruled out all the options sensibly before butchering a healthy animal…

And now… for further outrage… Many people chose to update the Trip Advisor website, about the zoo. It seems that all the comments relating to this travesty have been removed! The reviews painted the zoo in a bad light, obviously. But, I am stunned at this website – isn’t it supposed to show (in my mind and correct me if I am wrong here), impartial opinions of those who have been to the zoo and have an opinion about the location. So, now it looks as though all is ‘hunky dory’ and/or ‘fine and dandy’ with the place. Well, screw you Trip Advisor – I’ll find my own way of spreading my opinions in future. Their ‘allowable’ or ‘acceptable’ reviews can be found here.

Useful websites that have also appeared, include:

BBC coverage of the story
Close Copenhagen Zoo  – FB site with updates about the sad affair
Sign the petition  – Over 3.5k signatures so far!

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4 Responses to Danish giraffes – are they the unhappiest in world right now?

  1. Thomas Aylward-Greenway says:

    What i also find interesting is their persistent use of the word Euthanasia. It’s as if they tried their utmost to avoid the unpalatable, but much more honest terms to “put down” or “kill”. Using a more “fancy” word somehow covers up the unpleasantness of the barbaric act. What I find amusing is that the act of Euthanasia is a decision obviously involving choice. I’m almost certain, but correct me if you disagree, that Marius this poor benign creature, would have chosen to live…..

    • loobylou2 says:

      Too right Thomas and Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP), near Doncaster, had offered to re-home Marius, but said its bid was rejected.

      YWP was in fact among several zoos which put in last-ditch offers to take the giraffe, which makes this all the more senseless :/

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