Denmark Zoo To Kill Another Young Male Giraffe

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Days after the Copenhagen Zoo killed a giraffe with a bolt gun and dissected it in front of visitors, the Jyllands Park Zoo in western Denmark says it will likely put down one of its two male giraffes as well.

Zookeepers at the Copenhagen Zoo killed a young male giraffe named Marius, whose body was cut up and fed to lions. The giraffe at Jyllands, also named Marius, may share the same fate.

Jyllands says it want to acquire a female for breeding, and Marius is “unsuitable” for the task.

"We can't have two males and one female. Then there will be fights," zookeeper Janni Poulsen said.

Like Copenhagen, Jyllands says it is unlikely it will find a new home for its Marius.

"If we are told we have to euthanize [Marius] we would of course do that,” she told The Guardian.

More than 27,000 people from around the world signed a petition to save the giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo. A Netherlands wildlife park even offered to take the animal, but the zoo refused, stating that Marius was not genetically important enough to take a place at their reserve.

Poulsen says Jyllands supports that decision.

"It doesn't affect us in any way. We are completely behind Copenhagen and would have done the same," said Poulsen.

Poulsen said they were surprised to learn of another giraffe named Marius in Denmark.

"We thought it was amusing that there was another Marius among the giraffes when there aren't that many giraffes in Denmark overall,” she said.

The Jyllands Marius was named for a former vet at the zoo.

The Copenhagen Zoo claims it didn’t name Marius, the visitiors did.

"The zoo keepers sometimes call the animals names, and then our guests have heard the name Marius, and that has then become the individual Marius," the zoo’s scientific director, Bengt Holst said. "But in no way is it an official name it has been given."

He says the zoo never names animals to avoid personification.

Sources: The Guardian, Newser