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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
 Previous   Next 
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
February 13, 2014 7:22 AM
I do not agree with the decision of this zoo to kill the giraffe, even to show the death and dissection of this sufferer in pubric like many opponetns in this forum. But I do not agree as well with the opponents such as have threatened to kill zoo staffs because they are recognized as the same as zoo staffs in the point that both do not reluctant to sucrifice lives.

by: Animal Lover from: Silver Spring, MD, USA
February 13, 2014 2:04 AM
Some scientists - like Mr. Holst - are happy to kill and claim it's entirely defensible and for the greater good.

Why should he complain about death threats? It is clear he applauds killing - but apparently only when as he's the one ordering the killing.

by: anitha s rao from: india
February 13, 2014 12:36 AM
Man is playing the role of creator and destroyer as science is developing. But man can never be an original creator. So it is time to be humble and live and let live. Even animals have right to live.

by: Brittney from: Us
February 12, 2014 11:06 PM
I'm glad those zoo keepers got death threats they deserves everyone of them. You do not just put down an innocent animal for barely no reason, especially when near by zoos and animal rescue offered to give Marius a home. I'm sorry but that is just disgusting and I hope that zoo gets what's coming to them! RIP Marius <3

by: pat gaston from: Atlanta Ga
February 12, 2014 8:33 PM
I think this is deplorable! Animals that are born have a right to live unless there is a gross deformity that would make life unbearable. Killing this 18 mo. old giraffe because they felt his life was not worth much is crazy. There were way too many people that would have taken him. There is no excuse for this at all. Pure evil!!

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
February 12, 2014 7:11 PM
I would like to know what was the purpose for zoo keepers to show death and dissection of this giraffe in front of crowds.
In Response

by: sandra from: usa
February 13, 2014 7:46 PM
maybe thepeople that made this choice should not have reproduced

by: Cynthia G. from: California, USA
February 12, 2014 3:07 PM
The director of the Copenhagen zoo is a Mad scientist and a MONSTER! Why didn't the parents of these young children protest? Those kids are going to grow up de-sensitized.
I strongly believe that greed and evil played a part in this killing! Instead of spending money on sodium pentobarbitol to properly euthanize this young giraffe, they brutally shot it. And instead of spending funds to transport it, they kill this beautiful creature for no good reason.

Zoos are supposed to be humane and preserve species not killing fields!!! The director is most likely a callous hunter as well. What a fine example this non-human has set for our children - to kill animals and cut them up!!!

by: Nikki from: Norway
February 12, 2014 2:03 PM
How appalling! I'm an American living in Norway and I can not express how glad I am to have not taken my children to this place while down there. Apparently the on'y thing we Americans can do slightly right is transfer animals from zoo to zoo...death threats....a little much. Two wrongs don't make a right, but loss of his job is a must. I'll never contribute a thing to this place...

by: alexandra edwards from: south africa
February 12, 2014 12:38 PM
This man deserves to die a slow and painful death and I volenteer. What he did was wrong and I hope he and his whole family suffer for the rest of there lives. That scumbag must be fired. As a matter of fact all the animals should be sold to other zoos or game parks everyone should loose there jobs , close the zoo down they are obviously incompatent to run such a place. And for the scumbag hope you rot in hell and I wish I could be there to see it. I spit on you.

by: G.Davies from: England
February 12, 2014 12:37 PM
I fail to comprehend how a country of people can allow such heinous acts to be carried out without national condemnation.The fact that these people can take their infant children to watch these barbarous acts speaks volumes about the mental psyche of these people. There was no explanation that could justify their acts to this beautiful young animal last Sunday! How their Prime minister could allow this to happen on the world stage without even trying to intervene also beggar's belief! This countries recent acts towards hundreds of dolphins also raises grave concern. To think this country is part of the EU, they should be ashamed of themselves! Nobody would believe that Giraffes are an endangered species when this kind of behaviour is going on.Shame on all concerned with that sad day last week! may their god forgive them!
Comments page of 3
 Previous   Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More