When the Copenhagen Zoo decided to put down the two-year-old giraffe, Marius, last week, the reaction around the world was a mix of shock and anger. The fact that the eleven-and-a-half foot giraffe was also fed to the zoo’s lions didn’t help soothe public outrage. The reasoning behind sacrificing Marius was, the zoo said, to maintain the genetic diversity essential to sustaining a healthy captive giraffe population. That reasoning didn’t help much either and zoo officials received death threats.
Undeterred by the public backlash another Danish zoo announced on Wednesday that it is considering a similar fate for one of its giraffes, also somewhat bizarrely named Marius, the Guardian reports. Here’s more from the Guardian:
Jyllands Park zoo, in western Denmark, currently has two male giraffes, but has been approved to participate in the European breeding programme. If zookeepers manage to acquire a female giraffe, seven-year-old Marius will have to make way. Like his namesake in Copenhagen, the giraffe is considered unsuitable for breeding, and the zoo said there was a high risk that Marius would have to be put down as it would be difficult to find him a new home. Janni Løjtved Poulsen, zookeeper at Jyllands Park, said it was not clear when the park would acquire a female giraffe and that the decision on Marius's future would be taken by the breeding programme co-ordinator.
Poulsen said the recent uproar over the Copenhagen Zoo’s killing of its giraffe wouldn’t impact the zoo’s decision-making. "If we are told we have to euthanise [Marius] we would of course do that," Poulsen told the Guardian.