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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora