A healthy baby giraffe was murdered with a bolt gun recently at a European Zoo because it was deemed a “surplus to requirements.” As if this wasn’t cruel enough, the corpse of the unfortunate animal was butchered in front of a crowd of children and thrown in to the lion’s enclosure.
The 18-month-old giraffe name Marius gained quite a bit of attention as animal rights activists sought to put an end to the zoo’s intentions. A 20,000 signature petition and threats of legal action as well as offers to adopt the giraffe came flooding in but not one received a response from the zoo.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s head of “hoofstock” offered the soon to be killed Marius a home saying, “We have a state-of-the-art giraffe house built in 2012 with a bachelor herd of four male giraffes and the capacity to take an extra male, subject to the agreement of the European studbook keeper.” Another private buyer also offered the zoo a check for 500,000 Euros in exchange for Marius’s life.
The cries apparently fell upon deaf ears however, as the zoo went ahead with their plans and killed the giraffe with a bolt gun. A bolt gun is a pneumatic—air powered—gun that, when the trigger is depressed, sends a metal bolt protruding out of the gun and into whatever the gun is pressed up against—in this case, Marius’s head.
They reportedly chose this method rather than the, more humane, lethal injection so they did not contaminate the meat. A spokesperson for the zoo explained that it would have been, “foolish” to let the meat go to waste and also provided an opportunity to teach “scientific knowledge about animals,” to that day’s visitors.
Parents were then notified that the Marius’s corpse was going to be butchered and to bring their children to watch if they thought it appropriate—they also warned to stay away if they thought otherwise. Apparently the seemingly morbid event drew quite the crowd that surprisingly heavily populated with children.
(See also: WATCH: Circus Trainer Viciously Mauled By Tiger)
The zoo butcher then took to his lesson, informing the viewers what they were about to watch and then began to dissect the dead giraffe. Soon after, the separated limbs and body parts were thrown into the lion enclose where they quickly fed on the meat.
This apparently isn’t a new practice for the zoo as, “according to Danish media, Copenhagen Zoo destroys 20-30 animals a year, including bears, tigers and zebras.”
Bengt Holst, the zoo’s scientific director, took to defending their actions saying, “Giraffes today breed very well, and when they do you have to choose and make sure the ones you keep are the ones with the best genes. The most important factor must be that the animals are healthy physically and behaviorally and that they have a good life while they are living, whether this life is long or short.”
He explained that the zoo had chosen not to give the giraffes contraceptives out of the fear that side effects will have on the giraffe’s internal organs—apparently a worse outcome than death.
Holst then insulted the Yorkshire Wildlife Park that so generously offered to adopt Marius by telling BBC News that they should be more concerned with, “genetically more important” giraffes and that the campaign to save Marius’s life had gone, “too far.”
What do you think—was this the most logical solution to dealing with the minimalistic problem Marius presented for the zoo? Let us know in a comment below!