News / Europe

Copenhagen Zoo Staff Receives Death Threats After Giraffe Killing

Marius, a male giraffe, lies dead before being dissected, after he was put down at Copenhagen Zoo on Feb. 9, 2014.
Marius, a male giraffe, lies dead before being dissected, after he was put down at Copenhagen Zoo on Feb. 9, 2014.
Reuters
Copenhagen Zoo's scientific director and other staff have received death threats after a healthy giraffe was killed to avoid inbreeding among the long-necked beasts there, the zoo said on Monday.
 
But director Bengt Holst said it was the right decision and he would be ready to do the same with another animal if needed.
 
The death of Marius, an 18-month-old male shot on Sunday and then dissected in front of crowds at the zoo, has created a uproar among animal lovers in Denmark and abroad.
 
“I got direct threats against the zoo, me and my family,” Holst said. One caller who telephoned in the middle of the night told him that he and his family deserved to die.
 
A zoo spokesman said other staffers had also been threatened but gave no further details.
 
Copenhagen Zoo's giraffes are part of an international breeding program that aims to maintain a healthy giraffe population in European zoos by ensuring that only unrelated giraffes breed.
 
“If an animal's genes are well represented in a population, further breeding with that particular animal is unwanted,” Holst said. “We could face the same problem with an elephant if there are too many males.”
 
Petition pleads for Marius
 
Marius was killed despite the pleas of thousands who signed online petitions to save him. He was given his favorite breakfast of rye bread and then shot.
 
After an autopsy, some meat from Marius's carcass was fed to other zoo animals and some was sent to research projects in Denmark and abroad for study.
 
Camilla Bergvall, vice chairwoman of Animal Rights Sweden, said it was common for zoos to kill healthy animals because they were not suitable for breeding, the zoo lacked room for them or there was little public interest in them.
 
“Zoos have to think about their revenues,” she said. “It is important to understand that this is not just about Marius. It happens quite often that healthy animals are killed.”
 
Bergvall said keeping species in zoos caused the individual animals to suffer. Breeding animals for captivity created the limited gene pool problem that led to Marius's death.
 
“The best thing is not to breed animals for people to look at,” she said.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
    Next 
by: SHAKHOV IGOR from: RUSSIA
February 28, 2014 12:57 AM
Copenhagen Zoo is Zoo-Auschwitz for animals for my mind. And so the place of dirty medievial attractions for human beings (especially -childs!!!) of 21 cent. LET us NEVER visit such awful places!

by: Michelle from: Lesmond
February 15, 2014 6:27 PM
Vigilantes are magnificent.Death wish to each and every scumbags responsible for the murder of this giraffe. An eye for an eye.What goes around comes around!!!!!

by: Linda from: Florida
February 15, 2014 6:13 PM
This is a disgusting and horrible thing done to the poor giraffe. He should be fed to the lion. I don't know how he sleeps at night. I can see why he is getting death threats. He could of sent the giraffes to a another zoo.

by: tess from: Australia
February 15, 2014 2:55 AM
from all of us in.Australia to the Copenhagen Zoo we are appauled by your disgusting behaviour. I will never visit your zoo. your tourism.will suffer and your zoo. what a stupid decision. Our Australian zoos coordinate sharing animals. Whilst also segregating males from females to prevent inbreeding and transporting these beautiful.and rare animals to other zoos. Australia would of taken him. Your a disgrace to the world. Zoos are about conservation and to do what you did in front of families is so.moralky wrong. As a mum, a teacher and as a animal conversation supporter you are viewed by all Australians as a bloody disgrace. Your zoo does not deserve support and I hope your animals are transferred to other zoos and your shut down.

by: Linda from: Healdsburg Ca
February 13, 2014 8:58 PM
With all the problems in the world, couldn't you have done the right thing here? It is appalling, cruel, and thoughtless. I cannot believe that you would take the life of a young giraffe so thoughtlessly. Badly done. There was another alternative. I will NEVER visit your zoo.

by: Carole from: Canada
February 13, 2014 2:04 PM
This is most deplorable thing I have ever heard about. What kind of world do we live in. Shut all the zoos down if this is how we treat our beautiful creatures. I will not support zoos anymore and this monster should go to jail or worse. He obviously has no conscience or regard for life!

by: Cranksy from: USA
February 13, 2014 12:41 PM
Boycott zoos. There seems to be so little learnt from or respect cause for the other conscious species captive there compared to the miserable frustration and fear some of them apparently experience.

by: Laurie J. from: NYC,NY
February 13, 2014 11:28 AM
This appalling act and extreme violence makes no sense at all. This beautiful defenseless creature was killed in cold blood. This is not the Serengeti Desert. This is a controlled environment. This young healthy giraffe had life there for close to 2 years. The monster who killed him in front of school children should suffer the same consequences. What an evil creep. The parents of these school children should sue the state! This was supremely wrong on so many levels!

by: Agent00x from: Florida
February 13, 2014 9:46 AM
So much for the idea that zoos exist to protect and care for animals.

by: animalgirl
February 13, 2014 8:36 AM
They could've just neutered him! Jeez. Idiots!!
Comments page of 3
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs