As for the educational experience...yep, its wonderful. But is it necessary? I'd say no. Thats why its a question of priorities. If someone takes issue with this giraffe being euthanized...but then goes to Animal Kindgom during their trip to Disney, welllllll. Thats hypocritical to me.
This has nothing to do with corruption. This has to do with a successful captive breeding program and the inability to keep ALLL the animals. The ones that provide the most benefit to the gene pool are kept, and ones like this little guy are not. If it were not him, it would be someone else. This has to do with science and knowing what is best for the pool of giraffes living in captivity as a whole.I am sure as in all things there are some places that are corrupt. That is not to say that all zoos are corrupt and should not be allowed.
There were not many. There were some. Some did not promise that they would not sell it off to another place, like a circus or less reputable park. THey were decided against. Others contained family members of the same gene pool as this giraffe. It was the same issue and decided that it was NOT in the best interest of the pool of captive giraffes as a whole to keep him there. Neutering of male giraffes is risky and can lead to severe trauma which would require euthanization.As for killing a giraffe, I am sure there are many zoos that would have been willing and glad to take it and that would have been a better option.
Its arbitrary to treat a giraffe or a dog or cat differently, or presume that because people 'love giraffes' that they should not be euthanized when they are a hinderence to a human created breeding program and problematic situation. I mean you can choose to put that emotional investment into these animals....but to expect biologists and people who are going to be running these places that you just praised so much to disregard what is best to provide the best enviroment they can for these giraffes for years to come....in favor of a socially constructed affinity? I think thats wrong.If the giraffe had died naturally, I would not have had a problem with them feeding the lion privately, but I think it was disrespectful to do it so publicly. We do think of giraffes differently. Would you be ok with feeding a lion a beloved cat or dog in front of your kids? I doubt it. It is the same idea with giraffes.
If you like these places, let these people do their jobs. Also no one was forced to go and watch, so if you are horrified by it, then don't go.
Last edited by KimPossible; 02-11-2014 at 10:24 AM.
I see a huge double standard here. We think that people need to see animals in person to admire them face to face and get a great 'educational experience'....but then learning about the underbelly or less pleasant parts of captive wildlife management, we can just 'hear about it' from books and websites. What went on there was not some sort of freak show....it was a captive wildlife management decision.
Maybe its just that people don't want to face the fact that managing wildlife in captivity is an ugly business with tough decisions that challenge our ethical fiber. I mean if we don't expose anyone to it....we can just keep enjoying all the fun and pretty animals face to face without feeling bad about it.
ETA: Forgot to address the frog dissection thing. I don't think that has anything to do with this at all. This animal was going to die anyway. And letting people watch was not meant to be an anatomy lesson.
Last edited by KimPossible; 02-11-2014 at 10:28 AM.
I stand corrected
here is the statement from the zoo, it mainly was meant to be an anatomy lesson
Anywho, i don't see how this conflicts with their policy on school dissection. If i understand correctly, that is due to the supply industry for school dissection, not because they are ethically opposed to children seeing the anatomy of an animal. So this seems to be a rare opoprtunity to actually get to see the anatomy lesson in person, only con would be the poor visibility for those not upfront. Is in person important or not? I don't know...people seem to think its important to see them not dissected in person and that tv or computers isn't enough, so i'm not sure why that doesn't apply in this situation too.
I also still maintain that it is an excellent lesson in wildlife management...so that people can better decide how okay they really are with the concept of zoos, instead of hiding it away for no one to really realize.
As for the manor they did it in...they tried to make it as purposeful as one could. They provided an educational lesson to those who wanted it and they fed it to one of its natural predators.
To do nothing at all with it would have been far more disrespectful. It would be no better than trophy hunting.
Read the OP. The Copenhagen Zoo had offers from other zoos. They chose not to accept them.
David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!
I shouldn't have bothered trying to bold anything...its all pertinent and valuable information. I don't agree with the outrage. Its overly simplistic to think they should have just moved this giraffe around. This to me is an issue of people not realizing what it takes to get something they like. And thats fine if you like them....but please, lets not pretend that its all hearts and rainbows. (Hey zoos are fun! I've been to a few zoos over the course of my life time!) When a zoo decides not to hide from you what they have to do to to be responsible about the species they have taken in, at the very least learn about the why's before we decide to fly off the handle.
Marius The Giraffe Not The Only Animal Culled By Zoos | TIME.com
The killing of Marius the giraffe at a zoo in Copenhagen surprised many people around the world ? and shocked quite a few ? but it was no isolated incident. [b]Also put down by European zoos in the name of genetic diversity in recent years: Zebra, antelopes, bison, pygmy hippos, and tiny Red River hog piglets.
Although zoo officials may not publicize the fact, culling is often a normal part of a zoo?s breeding program and conservation efforts. But as those breeding programs become more successful ? especially with popular animals like giraffes ? euthanasia is also becoming more controversial.
?As a conservation organization, we realize that there?s a crisis in the natural world, and that we have an obligation to protect species in the wild from human actions,? says David Williams-Mitchell, communications and membership manager for the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). ?One of the ways we do that is through breeding programs. But we have limited space within EAZA to carry out that, and we need to prioritize animals that can contribute to future of the species.?
The killing of animals under the protection of zoos is the ironic price of success: a zoo whose breeding program manages to produce enough healthy offspring may find itself having to put down some of those individuals in order to make room for species in greater danger of extinction. Zoos, after all, only have so much space. ?You have to understand that zoos today are in a position to go deeper into conservation,? says Friederike von Houwald, curator of Switzerland?s Zoo Basel. ?We can very precisely identify not just an entire species, but a particular line of species that needs protection.?
Marius was not from one of those lines and that sealed his fate. But he is hardly alone. Although considered a last resort (?we don?t do it even once a year,? says von Houwald of her zoo), euthanasia is a regular tool for biodiversity and population management in many European zoos. In the past few years, river hog piglets, pygmy hippos, tigers, antelopes, bison, and zebra have all been put down in European zoos for biodiversity reasons. Although EAZA has figures from recent years, it does not release them because of their sensitivity. ?We?re not ashamed of euthanizing animals,? says Williams-Mitchell. ?But we don?t want to publicize it either. ?
Although Marius was the first giraffe to be put down at the Copenhagen zoo, members of other much-loved species have been euthanized. In the spring of 2012, the zoo put down, via lethal injection, two leopard cubs whose genetics were over-represented. ?We cull antelopes and wild boar at the zoo every year for the same reason,? says Bengt Holst, the zoo?s scientific director. ?I don?t understand the outrage.?
But as breeding programs meet ever greater success, outrage is increasingly the reaction to these policies, especially when the animal being put down is popular or especially adorable. In 2010, the decision by officials at Edinburgh zoo to put down two hog piglets named Sammi and Becca sparked protests. That same year, a court in Germany ruled that the Magdeburg zoo director and three workers were guilty of violating animal rights law for putting down three tiger cubs. Marius? death also provoked ire from animal rights organizations and social media exploded in rage and sadness, as people around the world criticized the zoo for callously disregarding the animal?s welfare. Nearly 30,000 people signed an online petition asking that the young giraffe?s life be spared.
Yet zoo experts maintain that euthanasia ? even of a healthy animal ? is frequently the most responsible course. Neutering and contraception prevent the animal from performing behaviors that are critical to its sense of well-being ? namely reproduction and parenting. And even separating males and females for a length of time can have unpredictable outcomes: rhinos who have been prevented from mating for a few years have not been able to reproduce once the males and females were reunited.
Other alternatives are similarly problematic. ?Releasing a giraffe that had spent his entire life in captivity into the wild would have been a death sentence,? says Williams-Mitchell. ?It may sound counter-intuitive; why not let the giraffe take its chances? But it seems needlessly cruel to ship an animal thousands of miles, only to release it to what is the same outcome it would have at home.?
Nor does space in another zoo necessarily equal a solution. In Marius? case, one of the zoos that offered was rejected because, as a member of EAZA, it faced the same genetic over-representation as Copenhagen. Another was not an EAZA member, which is a problem in its own right: there was no guarantee that the new zoo complies with animal welfare standards. That same problem applies to individuals who have offered to help, including the anonymous person who offered 50,000 euros for Marius.
?We had the same thing happen with one of our zebras a few years ago that we planned to euthanize because of overrepresentation,? says von Houwald. ?Someone wrote to say, ?I can take the zebra because I have room in my horse stable. But as a zoo you have a huge responsibility to make sure this living creature is properly cared for. A zebra isn?t the same as a horse.?
That zebra, like Marius, became lion food. Another thing many people don?t realize about zoos: most euthanize animals regularly for meat to feed their carnivores.
One of the things distinguished Marius? case was the Copenhagen zoo?s openness about it. Although the giraffe was anesthetized and shot in a private area of the zoo, his autopsy was held outdoors, in an area specially opened for visitors who wished to observe the procedure. Although some critics saw this as further evidence of a lack of empathy, the zoo itself has said it was important to opt for transparency.
That?s a sentiment with which EAZA agrees. ?[The euthanasia] is a reminder of the cost of human actions,? says Williams-Mitchell. ?The reason that zoos have to protect species in the first place is only partly due to poaching and illegal trade. It is also because of climate change and the wholesale pillaging of these animals? natural habitat. Until people start to take responsibility for their actions and their lifestyle decisions, scientists who want to protect animals like Marius will continue to have to make hard decisions.?
Last edited by KimPossible; 02-11-2014 at 03:38 PM.
Last edited by KimPossible; 02-11-2014 at 03:46 PM.
I do get that sometimes extra animals need to be culled. I do get that this giraffe's genes are over-represented in EAZA zoos. But rather than let this giraffe out of the EAZA breeding program and into another well-respected zoo that didn't have a giraffe with his genes, they killed him. And that's what I don't get. He wasn't "extra" and he wasn't "over-represented." He was simply not in the right place, and that isn't a good reason to kill him.
David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!
If you get that sometimes animals need to be euthanized in unique situations, then at most, you could possibly disagree with their belief that it is important to stick to the EAZA rules. This means that they are trying to make a responsible decision, not some careless and flippant money making scheme...one that you might disagree with but that they fully believe is important when it comes to captive wildlife management, the actual business that they are in every day.
To disagree with their attempt to make what they believe is a decision about responsibility is one thing. To be outraged (which seems to be what the media is reporting...and encouraging I'd say) by their best attempts to run their business mindfully is another.
Last edited by KimPossible; 02-11-2014 at 04:40 PM.