Sunday, February 9, 2014
Butchering an Inconvenient Giraffe
“Marius, a healthy 2-year-old male giraffe living at the Copenhagen Zoo has been euthanized; his body cut up and fed to the lions” so wrote National Public Radio this morning on its website. Those are pretty shocking words to hear or read. Euthanized? Really? What on earth was good about this death? That was a totally inappropriate word to use about this horrible event. The animal was killed. That animal was killed impliedly in public view of spectators and television cameras according to the author of the article. The giraffe was then skinned and butchered and fed to the Zoo's lion pride. I wonder if the Zoo was crass enough to sell tickets to this savage spectacle.
According to the article there was no room in the herd for this beautiful creature. They didn't want to give him away or lend him to some other zoo. They turned down offers to care for the creature. They turned down an offer from an undisclosed private person to pay the zoo almost seven hundred thousand dollars for the creature. That may or may not have a good decision. However declining that offer did not leave the Copenhagen Zoo with no alternatives other than slaughtering and butchering the animal for the benefit of the Zoo's lion pride. The justifications for the slaughter of the giraffe urged by the Copenhagen Zoo are almost laughable though. Preservation of the integrity of the gene pool could have been accomplished simply by excising the creature's testicles or otherwise preventing him from breeding. Removing him from the Zoo's herd and still preserving genetic diversity could have been accomplished simply by transferring it intact to another facility where his genes could be passed into another genetic pool. That would preserve some amount of diversity in the pool and prevent the donee institution from perhaps slaughtering one of its giraffes for the reasons urger in Copenhagen.
After reading the article and comments of Zoo management I am left with the feeling that this creature was slaughtered and butchered simply for the convenience of the Zoo or that the Zookeeper is truly a psychopathic personalty.