Zoo feeds giraffe to lions in front of kids
Zoo kills healthy giraffe; invites kids to witness autopsy and lion lunch.
A Danish zoo has attracted criticism for the way in which it managed the killing of a young, healthy giraffe this week, reports Huffington Post. Despite online petitions calling for the giraffe to be sold rather than killed, the animal was shot with a bolt gun, autopsied and then fed to lions, all in front of an invited audience of children and their parents.

A necessary death?

The zoo’s spokesperson explained that zoos which are signatories to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria may not sell animals to private individuals as the zoos themselves merely care for the animals and do not own them. He insisted that the killing of the 2-year-old giraffe was necessary and that it was done in part to prevent inbreeding.

He also said that he was proud that he had afforded visitors to the zoo a rare opportunity to study the anatomy of a giraffe but added that parents were allowed to decide whether or not the unusual spectacle was suitable viewing for kids.

The director of the zoo suggested that if the giraffe had been less visually impressive- a pig, for example- no one would have cared.

Anti-zoo activists are using the killing of the giraffe to highlight what they suggest are cruel practices in zoos such as the killing of healthy animals to make space for more genetically attractive or suitable specimens.

To zoo or not to zoo?

The concept of zoos is one which troubles many parents: while they want their children to see all sorts of animals as that's what kids want, not all parents agree that zoos are ethical in the ways in which animals are kept. That the animals are forced to live in artificial environments, sometimes alone and in climate conditions very different to their natural surroundings.

In SA parents do have the benefit of being able to access many wild animals in the wild and on nature reserves, although this sometimes involves an investment in terms of travel and other expenses.

Even wildlife reserves are forced to conduct culls occasionally to protect the animals for reasons of sickness or overpopulation and, in the wild, nature may be brutal too.

With open land becoming increasingly scarce and certain animals losing their space to roam, zoos are offering a place for specimens which may at some point no longer live in the wild- or anywhere else.

Here’s a short news clip about the killing of Marius the Giraffe via Youtube/World News [WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES]

Do you think zoos are a good place for kids to learn about animals?

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