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  #1  
Old 10 February 2014, 12:11 AM
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Shout Zookeepers killed baby giraffe with a bolt gun because he was 'surplus'

Zookeepers in Denmark have killed a perfectly healthy young giraffe after deeming him 'surplus' to requirements, it was revealed today.

Marius, Copenhagen Zoo's 18-month-old giraffe, was shot with a bolt gun and will be chopped up for the other animals' dinner.

Thousands of people had signed petitions appealing for a change of heart over Marius, but the campaign failed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...eds-lions.html

(WARNING: some of the pictures in the attached article are horrible -- well to me anyway)
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  #2  
Old 10 February 2014, 12:34 AM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
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Giraffes aren't endangered, the animal was put down humanely, and it's remains were put to good use.

I might not like it and I could think of countless ways it could have been done differently or better, but there is a limit to my outrage here.
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  #3  
Old 10 February 2014, 12:46 AM
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Is there no other zoo which could use a giraffe?
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  #4  
Old 10 February 2014, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
Is there no other zoo which could use a giraffe?
According to the article they were offers, but they weren't responded back to.

Again I'm not saying I like this.
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  #5  
Old 10 February 2014, 12:55 AM
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Aimee Evilpixie Aimee Evilpixie is offline
 
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Hello Kitty

If this was a cow we wouldn't be having this conversation.
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  #6  
Old 10 February 2014, 12:59 AM
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Do zoos kill calves on site and throw their carcasses to the lions?
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  #7  
Old 10 February 2014, 01:05 AM
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Aimee Evilpixie Aimee Evilpixie is offline
 
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Hello Kitty

Not generally, but we kill animals all the time and use their carcasses to feed ourselves and other animals.

I also don't see much of a difference between killing a calf at a slaughterhouse and killing one on-site at a zoo, other than that the additional transportation to the zoo would add additional stress to the animal.

Like Joe Bentley, this is not what my desired outcome would be for this animal, but I can't get particularly angry about it. It would have been preferable for the zoo not to breed the giraffes.
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  #8  
Old 10 February 2014, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
According to the article they were offers, but they weren't responded back to.
Again I'm not saying I like this.
It's not like the giraffe had a "best before" date. There was, really, no harm in waiting.
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  #9  
Old 10 February 2014, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimee Evilpixie View Post
If this was a cow we wouldn't be having this conversation.
It's more then that even.

I would be shocked if zoos don't put down animals pretty regularly. Not only would we not be having this conversation it were a cow, I doubt we'd be having it if the animal was put down in private.
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  #10  
Old 10 February 2014, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
It's not like the giraffe had a "best before" date.
They do, actually. Their size and growth rate means that housing and transportation get increasingly difficult pretty quickly. At the zoo where I used to volunteer, all our baby giraffes had to be shipped out before they hit a certain height -- I don't remember exactly what it was now -- so they could clear all the freeway underpasses between the zoo and the airport. And when our giraffes were at risk of oversaturating the breeding pool, the male got neutered.

-Tabby
the princess with claws
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  #11  
Old 10 February 2014, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabbyclaw View Post
And when our giraffes were at risk of oversaturating the breeding pool, the male got neutered.

-Tabby
the princess with claws
Not killed and thrown to the lions?
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  #12  
Old 10 February 2014, 01:33 PM
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I think the zoo should spin this one better, about how they gave the lions a chance to eat the food they are designed for. Win for the lions!
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  #13  
Old 10 February 2014, 02:00 PM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
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I think the story is pretty disgusting. But, I think slaughtering cows is pretty disgusting, too. But at least with cows they are specifically bred for food and other materials.

I already have a love/hate feeling towards zoos, so this makes me much less inclined to support their existence in general.

However-if they were going to do all of that and be so open about it, why not simply allow the lions to hunt and kill the giraffe themselves? While I think it's wrong to kill a perfectly healthy animal, to me that would be of greatest benefit (if they are going to kill it regardless) to the mental health of the lions.
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  #14  
Old 10 February 2014, 02:04 PM
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If the lions have been in captivity for awhile, they may no longer be able to hunt and kill quickly, so putting a life giraffe calf in there could mean a slow, painful death for the giraffe rather than a quick, less painful one.
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  #15  
Old 10 February 2014, 02:06 PM
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Are people more outraged that it was done, or that it was done and the zoo didn't try to hide it? I personally think it's refreshing that the zoo isn't trying to hide it and is in fact saying "Yes. We did this. And this is why."

Culling happens, and it happens for a variety of reasons. Culling has been a widely accepted practice among breeding programs of multiple species for decades.We don't know all the details as to why they couldn't send him somewhere else. Perhaps Marius was a trouble maker in the herd and there wasn't time to find somewhere else for him to go. They have a duty to avoid inbreeding. Perhaps he was showing far too much interest in some females he shouldn't breed, and they couldn't separate him out. Neutering a giraffe and turning him back out into a breeding herd is a waste, both of space for another giraffe that has breeding potential, and money that could be going to feed another giraffe of breeding potential. Giraffe are huge. They're not cheap to care for, house, or feed.

Marius was put down quickly and humanely, and was not made to suffer. His body was used for teaching during the dissection process, his meat was not wasted and was used to feed other animals at the zoo. The zoo owned him, the zoo was found to have not acted in an illegal or shady manner, and they really don't have to answer to anyone else besides the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

Simply saying that Marius was "killed and thrown to the lions" is inaccurate and sensationalistic. In death he provided both a teaching opportunity and food, and also opened up a slot in a conservation breeding program. Like Joe, my outrage is limited.

Then again, I used to live on a large dairy farm, where culling happened regularly, so I imagine I have a different viewpoint.

ETA: The zoo has published a FAQ on its website about its decision regarding the cull.

Available here
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  #16  
Old 10 February 2014, 02:10 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Besides the loss of hunting skills of the lions, an 18 month old giraffe is going to be a rather formidable prey. By that age a giraffe will be quite large, very strong, have a kick that would impress a mule, and use its neck and head like a giant club. In the wild, even a full pride of lions usually will do no more than startle giraffes to see if one is vulnerable - they will not usually tackle a healthy giraffe unless they are desperate.

I think the more sensible approach, though, would be to auction off the meat for specialty restaurants, etc. They probably could have bought 10-20 times the beef, goat, chicken, etc. for what giraffe meat would have fetched. There are probably regs against that though.
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  #17  
Old 10 February 2014, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Alia View Post
However-if they were going to do all of that and be so open about it, why not simply allow the lions to hunt and kill the giraffe themselves? While I think it's wrong to kill a perfectly healthy animal, to me that would be of greatest benefit (if they are going to kill it regardless) to the mental health of the lions.
Lions hunting in the wide open areas of Africa, and Lions hunting in a one-acre pen in a zoo are not exactly the same thing.
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  #18  
Old 10 February 2014, 02:16 PM
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Not to mention, even if they did, you do REALLY think that would be any better? I can see the headlines now:

"ZOO TAKES PART IN MODERN DAY GLADIATORIAL GAMES! SPECTATORS CHEERED WITH BLOODTHIRSTY ABANDON AS PERFECTLY HEALTHY YOUNG GIRAFFE IS TORN TO PIECES!"
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  #19  
Old 10 February 2014, 03:06 PM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
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Yeah people are already acting like the head of the zoo might has well been wearing a Roman Emperor costume at the time with the "Thrown to the lions" line.
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  #20  
Old 10 February 2014, 03:37 PM
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No A wave in the gene pool

It is all about preventing inbreeding.

The Zoo have stated that the giraffe was genetically to close to others and was taking up space needed in the breeding programme. They also have said that if another zoo has room for a giraffe they should join the breeding programme and take a more genetically important animal. A spokesman was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 live.

ICH
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