Copenhagen Zoo turns “over-representation” of giraffes into a PR dilemma


After watching the eye-opening documentary Blackfish, I grew a passion against the entrapment of wild animals. One example in Copenhagen proves my point.

A healthy two year old giraffe named Marius was gruesomely shot and displayed, publicly, for autopsy. Pictures online show a crowd surrounding the diseased Marius while an autopsy is performed. They then fed Marius to the lions at the Copenhagen Zoo.

The zoo’s reasoning for the kill was that Marius’ genes “were well represented.” In my blunt opinion, that is bull shit and could have been handled differently.

After numerous death threats, almost 30,000 online signatures asking the Copenhagen Zoo to save Marius, adoption offers from other zoos, and even an offer of $682,000 willing to take Marius in, the zoo still decided to go through with it.

As the zoo’s scientific director Bengt Holst said, “We don’t do it to be cruel; we do it to ensure a healthy population.” He goes on to explain that giraffes need to be bread to be sure the “population is renewed.”

I may be vegan, which builds my passion against animal cruelty, but for a zoo to have offers to keep Marius alive and to shoot him anyway is completely unethical. I think this kind of a move puts the Copenhagen Zoo in the doghouse, especially with animal rights activists encouraging people not to go to zoos anymore.

In a PR standpoint, they were right to release information concerning the the “healthy population” of the environment, but I still think this will hurt the Copenhagen Zoo. I really think that awareness of animal cruelty is growing, especially with Blackfish recently in the spotlight. People are starting to stand up for what they believe in and animal rights is gaining speed.

Check out the article “Anger Erupts After Danish Zoo Kills a “Surplus Giraffe” via NY Times:


One thought on “Copenhagen Zoo turns “over-representation” of giraffes into a PR dilemma

  1. Reblogged this on Kasandra Callaway and commented:
    A fellow peer of mine, recently blogged about the Copenhagen Zoo and the inhumane acts of cruelty they put towards animals. I am an animal lover myself and a 110% agree with her.
    With the ‘Blackfish’ documentary going viral, and opening the eyes of viewers across the world, animal cruelty and the question of ethical wrong doings is becoming more aware.
    I find myself questioning what I even believe in anymore. If I don’t support SeaWorld what other organizations should I not support? I love animals! I loved getting to see them up close last year at the San Diego Zoo. Should I not take a weekend and go to Woodland Park Zoo or to the Seattle Aquarium because they too confine the animals in a small inhumane space? Where do you draw the line in something you are so strongly against but yet?
    Perhaps a law will be initiated where only animals that we now currently have captive will be bred. No more taking wildlife from their homes and away from their families. Where do you stand?

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