Second Zoo in Denmark May Kill Another Giraffe

Illustration for article titled Second Zoo in Denmark May Kill Another Giraffe

Just weeks after a zoo in Denmark made a controversial decision to kill a giraffe and feed it to lions and big cats, word comes that a second zoo may put down one of its giraffes.

The original incident sparked outrage around the world. The Guardian reports the giraffe in this instance is also called Marius:

Jyllands Park zoo, in western Denmark, currently has two male giraffes, but has been approved to participate in the European breeding programme. If zookeepers manage to acquire a female giraffe, seven-year-old Marius will have to make way.

Like his namesake in Copenhagen, the giraffe is considered unsuitable for breeding, and the zoo said there was a high risk that Marius would have to be put down as it would be difficult to find him a new home.

Janni Løjtved Poulsen, zookeeper at Jyllands Park, said it was not clear when the park would acquire a female giraffe and that the decision on Marius's future would be taken by the breeding programme co-ordinator.

"If we are told we have to euthanise [Marius] we would of course do that," said Poulsen.


Time reports the controversy will not stop zookeepers from moving forward with their decision:

After that young giraffe was euthanized at Copenhagen Zoo to avoid inbreeding, staff at the zoo received death threats and Danish embassies around the world received angry messages.

"It doesn't affect us in any way. We are completely behind Copenhagen and would have done the same," Poulsen says, stressing that it would be difficult for the zoo to find a new home for Marius 2. His fate now lies in the hands of the coordinator of the European breeding program.

As for the sad, eerie coincidence in names, Poulsen said their Marius was named after a vet at the zoo: "We thought it was amusing that there was another Marius among the giraffes when there aren't that many giraffes in Denmark overall."

Image via AP Images.

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Can someone more informed tell me why these animals can't just be sterilized so that they don't breed rather than killed? Is it really THAT expensive for a zoo to keep one giraffe around? I'd think there's a fair amount of sunk costs that comes from already operating a zoo.