Celebrity Zookeeper Jack Hanna Raises $100K to Buy Second Danish Giraffe Set to Be Killed

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 13 2014 9:25 PM

Celebrity Zookeeper Jack Hanna Raises $100K to Buy Second Danish Giraffe Set to Be Killed

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Another Danish zoo is planning on putting down one of its giraffes.

Photo by KASPER PALSNOV/AFP/Getty Images

Suddenly, giraffes have become a hot button issue. The sudden spike in interest is rooted in outrage really—sparked by a zoo in Denmark euthanizing a young healthy giraffe for breeding purposes. The Copenhagen Zoo also performed a public autopsy and fed the giraffe to the zoo’s lions. This week when another zoo in Denmark said it, too, was preparing to put down a giraffe of its own, America’s favorite TV zookeeper, Jack Hanna, had had enough.

Hanna, the honorary director of the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, started making calls and cobbled together $100,000 to buy the giraffe from the Danish zoo. “No matter what kind of living creatures you have in a zoo, there’s a responsibility for zookeepers to take care of them throughout their lifetime,” Hanna told the Columbus Dispatch. “If we don’t do that, we shouldn’t have zoos.”

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Hanna also said he plans to ratchet up zoo diplomatic pressure on the Copenhagen Zoo for putting down the two-year-old giraffe that was born at the zoo. Plans for a Siberian Tiger from Copenhagen have been put on hold, Hanna said. “I want no involvement with anyone (from that zoo) if this kind of killing is practiced,” Hanna told the Dispatch.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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