The Copenhagen Zoo is back in the news again! This time, the zoo is in the spotlight for killing two lions and their cubs just to clear the way for a new male.
According to MSN News, the Copenhagen Zoo stated that two old lions and been euthanized as part of a generational shift and hope the new male and two females, born in 2012, will form the nucleus of a new pride. The zoo also justified their actions through a statement they released to Agence France-Presse by saying:
Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behavior, the zoo has had to euthanize the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves.
Despite the controversy surrounding the decision, the zoo’s chief executive, Steffan Straede, stood by the decision, and stated:
The zoo is recognized worldwide for our work with lions, and I am proud that one of the zoo’s own brood now forms the centre of a new pride of lions.
Officials elected not to carve up the lions for a lesson in animal anatomy, as they did when they put down an 18-month-old giraffe named Marius, last month. According to the New York Daily, the zoo’s scientific director, Bengt Holst, received death threats after announcing the giraffe would be shot because of European regulations against inbreeding.
Because of the announcement, thousands signed a petition to save the giraffe and other zoos offered to take in the creature. Despite the support, the giraffe was killed and cut up before children anyway. Some of the meat went to the zoo’s lions though it isn’t clear if the lions who were fed the giraffe meat are the same lions who were killed.
Why was it the giraffe, when clearly there were other options that did not require the giraffe’s death, and the same goes for the lions? The zoo has yet to answer on this, but this writer believes the decision to kill the giraffe and lions are clearly a business tactic. Giving the animals to other zoos would be considered “assisting competition”. This may or may not be true, but it does make sense.
In conclusion though, Holst simply stands by the zoo’s decision on killing the giraffe, which probably also includes the death of the lions, when he stated:
We know we are doing the right thing.
[Images via Bing]