Marius the Giraffe: A sad tale of zoo brutality
Many of you have probably heard of Marius, the giraffe that was killed in the Copenhagen Zoo on Saturday. This is a horrible example of how animals are treated in the zoo system. The Zoo claims that “Marius was euthanized in an effort to avoid inbreeding and overpopulation”. However, the the giraffe was perfectly healthy and many other zoos were willing to take it. Marius was slaughtered in front of horrified children and fed to the lions. The zoo used the baby calf to attract visitors and then slaughtered him.
As the events of this weekend illustrate, breeding animals in zoos is not a sustainable practice because of space limitations and also because the practice creates a surplus of unwanted animals. It is estimated that approximately 7,500 animals in European zoos are considered “surplus” at any one time.
Zoo breeding programmes serve no conservation purpose because giraffes and other animals born in zoos are rarely, if ever, returned to their natural habitats. From the moment he was born, Marius was destined to lead a life of misery at the hands of his human captors. Giraffes rarely die of old age in captivity. Had he not been killed yesterday, he would have spent his short life as an exhibit, stranded in a cold climate, thousands of miles away from his true home. Although his death is heartbreaking, it’s his birth that should have been prevented. We wish we could see this kind of outrage every time an animal is born at a zoo.
For everyone who genuinely cares about giraffes and all the other individuals serving life sentences in zoos, let’s hope Marius’ story is a wake-up call.
Read more about Marius the giraffe and the problem with zoos here: If You’re Really Sadden by the Death of Marius the Giraffe, Stop Visiting Zoos