Posts Tagged ‘Copenhagen Zoo’

After Marius the giraffe, Copenhagen Zoo puts down 4 lions

March 25, 2014

Zoos fool themselves when they claim to be anything other than places of entertainment for the general public. They pretend at playing the saviour of endangered species but really do little more than force some individuals of an unsuccessful species to live a fairly useless life in totally artificial surroundings. It is my contention that “Conservation” is on the wrong track in trying to freeze species in to a mould that clearly is genetically a failure. If the goal is to help a species to survive then they have to be helped genetically to live alongside humans – and not in some artificially created environment which can never exist outside the zoo.

And there is something wrong when perfectly healthy specimens are bred and then put down because they don’t suit. Copenhagen Zoo is probably not the worst zoo in the world, but it is among those who pretend the most. After Marius the giraffe they have now culled two lion cubs and two adult lions as being surplus to requirements. They are probably the same lions which feasted on Marius!

The Guardian: A Danish zoo that prompted international outrage by putting down a healthy giraffe and dissecting it in public has killed two lions and their two cubs to make way for a new male.

“Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behaviour, the zoo has had to euthanise the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves,” Copenhagen zoo said.

The 10-month-old lions would have been killed by the new male lion “as soon as he got the chance”, it said. The four lions were put down on Monday after the zoo failed to find a new home for them, a spokesman said. All four were from the same family.

He said there would be no public dissection of the animals since “not all our animals are dissected in front of an audience”.

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Denmark continues its campaign to exterminate giraffes named Marius

February 14, 2014

Denmark is a dangerous place to be a giraffe especially if your name is Marius.

I suspect that Jyllands Park Zoo is desperate for a little publicity. Though just killing giraffes named Marius as a publicity stunt seems a little drastic. They might have been better off starting a campaign to keep their Marius alive.

The Telegraph:The Danish Jyllands Park Zoo said on Wednesday it may put down one of its giraffes, which by coincidence has the same name, Marius, as the giraffe Copenhagen Zoo slaughtered on Sunday to the disgust of animal lovers around the world, according to Danish news agency Ritzau. …

Jyllands Park Zoo in western Denmark might put down its seven-year-old Marius if the zoo manages to acquire a female giraffe, which is most likely, zoo keeper Janni Lojtved Poulsen told Ritzau. The zoo also has a younger male called Elmer.

“We can’t have two males and one female. Then there will be fights,” Poulsen said.

Related:

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Copenhagen Zoo’s justifications for killing Marius if applied to humans

I hope visitors to Copenhagen Zoo dry up….

Copenhagen Zoo’s justifications for killing Marius if applied to humans

February 12, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo has been marshalling support on the scientific and the ethical plane to try and justify their decision to kill Marius the healthy giraffe. They protest too much and it is a revealing exercise to apply their argumentation to humans.

Their basic theme is that He died so that others could live

Capital punishment could be applied for all humans convicted of murder or  causing a fatal accident or whose genes are defective in any way so that others may live. In current Danish politics, the wrong skin colour in a human is indicative of defective genes.

Culling is for the greater good of the giraffes

The man who pulled the trigger, the zoo’s own veterinarian Mads Frost Bertelsen, says that a very positive situation lies behind the Zoo’s action. 

”Up until now, we have not had to cull the giraffes. But now we have reached the point where the population is doing so well that a giraffe like Marius could not be relocated. Then the best solution is to put him down,” says Mads Frost Bertelsen.

The vet explains that a central European coordinator keeps track of pedigrees, and which genes are represented by individual giraffes in European zoos. The coordinator estimated from these data that Marius’ genes were already well represented and recommended that Marius was killed to protect the population best suited to the gene pool.

But now we have reached the point where the human population is doing so well in so many countries. Many individuals cannot be relocated. From East Europe or Africa to Europe for example. Then the best solution is to put them down, especially if their genes are already well represented. Something like the policy China had. Enforced abortion for all children after the first. 

The right time for Marius to die

Marius was allowed to live for one and a half years, then that was it. At that age he can, according to Bertelsen, be described as a ‘teenager’. It was an age when his father had also started roughing him up.

“In the wild he would leave the herd. If he were lucky, he would meet and join up with other young male giraffes. If he were  unlucky, he would be killed by lions,” says Mads Frost Bertelsen, explaining that it was not unnatural for Marius to die young.

In fact, the young male giraffes are most at risk of being killed and eaten on the savannah, because they do not have the protection of the herd when they are looking for females to mate.

If contraception or abortion are not permitted then the individual can be allowed to live for a while and put down just before it reaches child-bearing age. Lions and other carnivores could soon develop a liking for human flesh.

How to lead a natural life in the zoo

The Copenhagen Zoo lets the animals breed because one of the biggest challenges of keeping animals in captivity is that they are bored. …… a great activity for the captive animals is to find a partner, nest, have offspring, feed an raise their offspring, and finally spend energy on throwing the kids out.

“The side effect is that we have a surplus of animals. It is in fact fortunate that we can use them as food. Instead of killing 20 goats or a cow, we can use the giraffe,” says Mads Frost Bertelsen. ….. 

“Our function is not to keep the individual animal alive, but to keep the species alive,” says the Jens Sigsgaard and continues:

“We have decided that even if an animal is over-represented in the gene pool, we will let it breed and have as normal a life as possible. We prefer to kill ‘surplus animals’ rather than send them to zoos we cannot approve.”

For defective humans or humans of low intelligence, breeding could be encouraged as an antidote to boredom. Surplus individuals produced by such breeding can always then be culled and used as food. They should be killed rather than being sent to countries unwilling to accept them or to countries which cannot be approved.

The adult animals breed – the young must die

Aalborg Zoo has several arguments for allowing animals to breed, even if it may result in too many babies. …. “The animals are allowed to breed because it is an important part of their natural behavior to have offspring and experience the process of taking care of the them. Looking after the young is one of the best and most natural ways to occupy animals in captivity, In the wild there comes a time when the baby is old enough to break away from the mother and maybe become part of another group. That is the time when we try to find another well-suited zoo for it. If that is not possible, the young animal must be put down,” ”says Jens Sigsgaard. 

The animals can also be adversely affected if they are not allowed to breed and have offspring. They may find it difficult ever to start breeding again. And if there are no kids in the flock, the younger animals will not get the experience of what it is like to care for babies. 

The humans with the defective genes are allowed to breed as part of their natural behaviour. But when any young individual is old enough to break away from the mother we can try and find a new location for the individual. If that is not possible then it must be put down.

It is not the killing of an animal that is the problem; it is allowing the individual to be bred with the intention of killing it (and where the feeding of the carcass to lions is only incidental). And there is a difference in the breeding of mice for the purpose of being fed to snakes.

Animals are kept captive and alive in zoos just for gawking at. Once upon a time we did that with human “freaks”. I would like to think that we are more “civilised” now where I take “civilised” to be elegance in behaviour. The behaviour of Copenhagen Zoo with Marius was particularly inelegant.

The fundamental issue is that Copenhagen Zoo – like all zoos – are places for human entertainment.  They fool themselves – and others – into thinking that they are performing a scientific or conservation function – but that is just twaddle. (That is also the fundamental flaw in the conservation of species in zoos where – instead of trying to get the species to adapt genetically – the zoos try to “freeze” the animals genetically in a frozen and artificially maintained habitat).

There is something lacking in the ethics of Copenhagen Zoo – and all zoos for that matter.

I hope visitors to Copenhagen Zoo dry up….

February 9, 2014

One wonders what the purpose of the Copenhagen Zoo is? First they breed them. Then if they don’t like them or find them surplus to requirements they kill them. They invite zoo visitors to the autopsy. Why not to the executions? A healthy, 18 month old giraffe bred by the Copenhagen Zoo was killed off for being surplus to requirements (genetically)! Why breed it in the first place? And apparently this is standard practice.

If it had been culled in the wild because of an excess population it might have felt different. And the zoo had been offered alternatives.

Marius the giraffe bred to be killed by Copenhagen Zoo

I hope visitors to the Copenhagen Zoo dry up.

From the Copenhagen Post:

An online petition to save the life of a young giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo is currently accumulating close to 2,000 votes an hour. But all the votes are in vain because the unfortunate animal was destroyed this morning in accordance with the zoo’s policy on in-breeding. 

The zoo said it has taken the decision to kill the 18-month-old male giraffe Marius and feed him to some of his fellow animals at the zoo in order to keep the giraffe population “genetically sound”.

“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,” Bengt Holst, the scientific director at the zoo, explained to the BBC.

Between 20 and 30 animals are put down in a similar fashion every year, added Holst. According to Ekstra Bladet tabloid, this has included bears, tigers and zebras.

…. Marius was killed by a bolt gun instead of a lethal injection, which would have contaminated the meat.

While most of him will be fed to the carnivores at the zoo, part of his carcass will be used for scientific research. Visitors to the zoo on Sunday were invited to attend the autopsy.

Ottawa CitizenCopenhagen Zoo turned down offers from other zoos and 500,000 euros ($680,000) from a private individual to save the life of a healthy giraffe before killing and slaughtering it Sunday to follow inbreeding recommendations made by a European association.

The 2-year-old male giraffe, named Marius, was put down using a bolt pistol and its meat will be fed to carnivores at the zoo, spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro said. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was dissected.

Marius’ plight triggered a wave of online protests and renewed debate about the conditions of zoo animals. Before the giraffe was killed, an online petition to save it had received more than 20,000 signatures.

Stenbaek Bro said the zoo, which now has seven giraffes left, was recommended to put down Marius by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria because there were already a lot of giraffes with similar genes in the organization’s breeding program.

The Amsterdam-based EAZA has 347 members, including many large zoos in European capitals, and works to conserve global biodiversity and to achieve the highest standards of care and breeding for animals.

Bengt Holst is the scientific director of Copenhagen Zoo who has implemented this policy of the EAZA.

Zoos are of course just places of entertainment for humans and I don’t really think they perform any other useful function. And I don’t much believe that their much vaunted  “conservation” which consists of freezing an unsuccessful species in an artificial habitat does that species any service at all.

Meanwhile in the UK: lioness and cubs who were the pride of Longleat are put down

Graphic pictures of Marius being cut up and fed to the lions.


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