Zoo kills giraffe and feeds it to the lions
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Default Zoo kills giraffe and feeds it to the lions

    Do you think the zoo was wrong to kill this giraffe and feed it to the lions even though it had offers from other places that would have taken it in?

    Saying it needed to prevent inbreeding, the Copenhagen Zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions as visitors watched, ignoring a petition signed by thousands and offers from other zoos and a private individual to save the animal.

    Marius, a healthy male, was put down Sunday using a bolt pistol, said zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was then skinned and fed to the lions.

    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.

    But the public feeding of Marius' remains to the lions was popular at Copenhagen Zoo. Stenbaek Bro said it allowed parents to decide whether their children should watch what the zoo regards as an important display of scientific knowledge about animals.

    "I'm actually proud because I think we have given children a huge understanding of the anatomy of a giraffe that they wouldn't have had from watching a giraffe in a photo," Stenbaek Bro said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

    He said the zoo, which now has seven giraffes left, followed the recommendation of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to put down Marius by because there already were 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 achieve the highest standards of care and breeding for animals.

    Stenbaek Bro said EAZA membership isn't mandatory, but most responsible zoos are members of the organization.
    "I know the giraffe is a nice looking animal, but I don't think there would have been such an outrage if it had been an antelope, and I don't think anyone would have lifted an eyebrow if it was a pig," said Holst.
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    Danish Zoo Kills Giraffe to Prevent Inbreeding - ABC News
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    I was heartbroken to read this. This was absolutely the wrong thing to do. They should have given him to another zoo to help spread his genes around. WTF cares if that zoo is an EAZA member or not?
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    I think its wrong that the giraffe was killed unnecessarily since there were offers to transfer him to somewhere else.

    Not sure why such a focus on feeding it to the lions thought. Thats silly and sensationalistic. What would they have rather done...just tossed it in a heap somewhere to decompose?
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Oh and I completely agree with the guy that people care because it was a giraffe and there are plenty of other animals that would not get such attention.

    I suppose I'd have to include myself in that category since I said I think it was wrong.

    People are very fickle.

    The more I think about it, the less I'm moved. I think it would have been nice and good for their PR to transfer the giraffe...it would have made me happy to see it transferred, but to kill an animal and feed it to a carnivore, what exactly is wrong with that. What do people think the lions have been eating up until this point? Tofu?
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    One final thought...only argument i think could be made is one for not supporting zoos in general. When humans involve themselves in the business of keeping animals captive, tough decisions follow.

    I think saying "We shouldn't have zoos" is a viable solution...and probably not even a bad one.

    ETA: I have done a lot more reading on this issue since this post. I've changed my opinnion.
    Last edited by KimPossible; 02-11-2014 at 04:25 PM.

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Feeding the giraffe to the lion just seemed very disrespectful to the giraffe, especially since they did it in front of a group of invited guests. They could have fed him to the lion behind the scenes, or at a later time. The whole thing just smacks of disingenuousness. I don't think the zoo cared about inbreeding because giving him away would have solved that problem. They wanted to feed him to the lion and sell tickets for the privilege of watching, and that was wrong and I'd say the same if they did it to a pig or an antelope. Give the dead some dignity and respect, even in a zoo.

    And for the record, my cat does eat tofu but she's weird in other ways, too.
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Feeding the giraffe to the lion just seemed very disrespectful to the giraffe, especially since they did it in front of a group of invited guests.
    Oh i totally disagree that this was just a tourist stunt. The explainations are scientifically sound and it simply hightlights one of the problems there is with zoos and successfull wild life breeding programs.

    What happened to this giraffe is a real problem with some not so easy answers...not a publicity stunt.

    As for doing it in front of a crowd...i think it was probably a poor decision PR wise. I undesrtand that they feel it is a learning experience, and I totally believe that there are plenty of sheltered people out there who don't have a true realization of what it means that one animal eats another, but this wasn't the best way to get its point across.

    That doesn't mean I think this is the sole purpose they chose to do this...so they could do it in front of the crowd. I think its wrong to turn a blind eye to a real problem with breeding wild animals in captivity and claim this is just a publicity stunt.

    Edited to fix...i started saying one thing because i misunderstood your point and then read the rest and understood it better. But i left the whole thing half baked!
    Last edited by KimPossible; 02-10-2014 at 03:16 PM.

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    One final thought...only argument i think could be made is one for not supporting zoos in general. When humans involve themselves in the business of keeping animals captive, tough decisions follow.

    I think saying "We shouldn't have zoos" is a viable solution...and probably not even a bad one.
    I disagree. Zoos offer an up-close-and-personal experience that most of us could never get with these animals. I don't think most people "get" just how big an elephant is, how tall a giraffe is, how far a kangaroo can leap, from books & websites. Seeing them in person really does make that impact and, when done properly, can make an impact to help save these animals and their environments in the wild. These animals are endangered because of us humans, but we don't have to **** up the entire planet, we *can* make better choices and help protect wildlife.

    And a number of better arguments would be: to swap giraffes with other zoos to prevent inbreeding; to use any number of available birth control methods so you don't end up with unwanted giraffes; to give an unwanted giraffe to another zoo that does want him; and if a situation arises where an animal does need to be put down, to treat that animal with dignity and respect. Lions eat giraffes in the wild, but that doesn't mean that this lion needed to eat this giraffe in front of a paying audience.
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Shows on National Geographic show tigers killing and eating giraffes and other animals all the time. Isn't that how we learn about nature and the cycle of life? I'm not sure why using the giraffe's death for educational purposes so children could see the anatomy of a giraffe is disrespectful to the giraffe. If the giraffe wasn't fed to the lions some other animal would have been. Actually multiple other animals would have to have been killed to feed the lions in place of one giraffe.
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    I disagree. Zoos offer an up-close-and-personal experience that most of us could never get with these animals. I don't think most people "get" just how big an elephant is, how tall a giraffe is, how far a kangaroo can leap, from books & websites. Seeing them in person really does make that impact and, when done properly, can make an impact to help save these animals and their environments in the wild. These animals are endangered because of us humans, but we don't have to **** up the entire planet, we *can* make better choices and help protect wildlife.
    I understand this as a standard argument...but at what expense does this occur? It would seem we are not willing to accept the expense, especially if seeing the slaughter of an animal and the feeding of it to another is considered shocking and inappropriate. Nature is not cute. In some ways perhaps the public should know that something like this does happen. I mean if people don't like that this happens, is the answer to hide it behind the scenes? Interesting.

    I saw someone give an excellent argument against this that rang very true to me. There is a bit of self entitlement to think that we should keep animals captive and in rather unnatural habitats (no matter how hard we try) in order to teach the public to 'love wildlife' Its not like other tools to teach an appreciation for ecosystems and their members don't exist. Is it necessary to see an elephant up close and personal to teach a people that we should be mindful of their existence?

    I actually don't think so as not everyone goes to zoos. And like i said its a fickle thing anyway.....to take specific exotic/fascinating animals and prioritize our interest in them over animals that are not so intriguing to human curiosity. I think this supposed environmentalism it generates is minor in the grand scheme of things and certainly not a reason alone to keep zoos open, its way too indirect, and relies too heavily on keeping people intrested in whats cool or cute and fuzzy. Part of the reason people react so poorly to this giraffe being fed to the lions in the first place (not meaning you specifically).

    And a number of better arguments would be: to swap giraffes with other zoos to prevent inbreeding;
    Well the zoo has to have space and offer, and the ones that did, this zoo gave very specific reasons as to why they did not believe it was a viable option, many of them had to do with scientific reasons, and with the issue of keeping a diversified population as a WHOLE, not just in this zoo. The issue of keeping a diversified genetic population of a species of animal is not confined to the walls of a zoo, this was a decision that was supported by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria

    to use any number of available birth control methods so you don't end up with unwanted giraffes;
    have you read about these birth control methods? Standard methods require sedation of giraffes, which runs a significant risk of serious neck injury as they fall to the ground. Its not like sedating other animals. Then if the giraffe breaks his neck you have no put him through totally unnecessary stress and a traumatic death (becuase you would have to kill it) then if you had just killed him humanely in the first place. There are ways now to administer conraceptives remotely to a female giraffe but a)This is a new way of doing things and in its infancy and b) this giraffe was a male, i don't think administering contraceptives to all the females its around is a reasonable choice.



    to give an unwanted giraffe to another zoo that does want him;
    This is the same as one

    and if a situation arises where an animal does need to be put down, to treat that animal with dignity and respect. Lions eat giraffes in the wild, but that doesn't mean that this lion needed to eat this giraffe in front of a paying audience.
    Well to actually feed the lion in front of people i see nothing at all wrong with it. The act killing the giraffe and preparing it in front of people i could see as an opinionated matter. Some will view it as a learning experience. Others will see this giraffe as something more than that...which again, i really question where that comes from because not all animals are treated with such affection.
    Last edited by KimPossible; 02-10-2014 at 04:46 PM.
    Emma 08/31/01
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