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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs