Second Danish zoo is planning to kill another giraffe named Marius
After the Copenhagen Zoo made the controversial decision to put down a healthy 18-month old giraffe named Marius, a second Danish zoo has announced it may just do the same.
Jyllands Park Zoo, located in the western part of Denmark said it may also have to cull one of its 7-year-old giraffes, also called Marius, over fears it will fight with another male - named Elmer (who happens to be the half-brother of Copenhagen's Marius) - over a female giraffe that the zoo is planning to bring in as a breeding partner.
Marius I was put down because his genes were already well represented in the European Breeding Programme for Giraffes that aims to maintain a healthy giraffe population in European zoos, while Marius II is considered unsuitable for breeding because of his genes.
Jyllands Park zoo-keeper Janni Lojtved Poulsen told Danish news agency Ritzau the reason behind the decision, which has yet to be made.
“We can’t have two males and one female. Then there will be fights,” Poulsen said. “If the breeding programme coordinator decides that he should be put down, then that’s what we’ll do.”
More than 27,000 people worldwide signed a petition to save the Copenhagen Zoo giraffe prior to its death.
The giraffe was shot in the head with a bolt-gun, and then dismembered in front of members of the public with some parts of the carcass fed to the zoo’s lions, while other parts were sent to research projects in Denmark.
Poulsen added that zoos in Denmark have been killing surplus animals for many years, and that the wave of protests, that included death threats, will not sway them.
“Many places abroad where they do not do this, the animals live under poor conditions, and they are not allowed to breed either. We don’t think that’s ok,” she said.
Poulsen said Jyllands Park Zoo has not yet considered whether it would carry out a public dissection like the one in Copenhagen.
The chances of Marius II of finding a new home are very slim indeed, even if the leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov has offered to take the giraffe.