Giraffe Killing at Copenhagen Zoo Sparks Global Outrage

A healthy male giraffe was euthanized because its genes didn't add to the diversity of the zoo population.

On Sunday morning, shortly after a last meal of his favorite rye bread, an otherwise healthy 18-month-old male giraffe named Marius was killed with a slaughterhouse bolt gun at the Copenhagen Zoo.

Afterward, zoo officials performed a three-hour-long demonstration of how to butcher a giraffe before a large crowd of visitors, including many children. The meat was then fed to the zoo's lions.

"When breeding success increases it is sometimes necessary to euthanize," Bengt Holst, the zoo's scientific director, said in a statement on the giraffe's death. "We see this as a positive sign and as insurance that we in the future will have a healthy giraffe population in European zoos."

Marius's death and very public dismemberment sparked outrage on

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