Giraffe Euthanasia

MariusMarius, the 18-month old giraffe captive in Copenhagen Zoo was killed yesterday and fed to the captive lions. In the public gaze. A bizarre spectacle from a British perspective, but not necessarily elsewhere. The justification for the killing was, scientifically, logical. Captive animals tend to breed with one another and this puts pressure on the gene pool.

It also seems not helpful to Copenhagen Zoo for alternative homes to be offered. The ‘value’ of the animal had been calculated. First of all it was valuable as an attraction when it was young. Baby animals are much more remunerative than older animals. Essentially, they are cute. It also seems clear that the animal’s body – in terms of meat – had been factored into the calculation. There are some hungry lions nearby who infrequently eat giraffe. The costs associated with moving the animal far outweighed its immediate value as a food source for the lions.

And there is the problem. Animals are commodities. They have value and no value at different times in their own lives. Just like farm animals. The problem is not what the Danes did to Marius. The problem is zoos.

Picture and story:

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