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Zoo personnel claim personal death threats after killing healthy giraffe Marius

Even zoos cull their herds. Rest in peace Marius.
Even zoos cull their herds. Rest in peace Marius.
Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

The Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark claim they are facing death threats by outraged animal advocates after the zoo's decision to kill a healthy 18-month-old giraffe named Marius on Sunday according to

More than 20,000 people signed a petition to save Marius even though the zoo refused to spare the life of the towering 11 foot, 6 inch camelopardalis.

And if the petition wasn't enough, offers from the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster, a Swedish zoo, the Netherlands Wildlife Park, and even an individual offered nearly $700,000 to rescue Marius.

Zoo spokesperson, Tobias Stenback Bro defended the zoo's position to kill the giraffe using a captive bolt on Sunday to Marius' forehead, stating the animal's genes (DNA) were too close to other giraffes, and it was the zoo's responsibility to avoid inbreeding. Seven other giraffes live at the Copenhagen Zoo.

Still animal advocates don't understand why Marius couldn't be transferred to another facility, despite more excuses, where his genes would likely not match with other giraffes. After all, Marius was born in captivity.

Although zoo officials tried to quell some of the anger of animal advocates around the world by telling people the giraffe was not a dog or cat as in a domesticated animal, but rather a wild animal and therefore people shouldn't be so affected by its death. Unfortunately for the zoo, by naming the giraffe Marius, the African mammal represented the softer side of human compassion, a personal connection, and the desire to preserve life.

Sadly, Marius isn't the only zoo animal who will be killed in a zoo. According to Time World, European zoos have euthanized zebra, antelopes, bison, pygmy hippos and hog piglets. Zoos defend their actions as to breeding and eliminating overpopulation and crowding in the zoos.

The debacle of Marius' death became even more distressing as zoo employees cut up the animal's body and threw chunks of his meat to the lions. Children observed; was it really a learning experience or will little ones wonder if that is what might become of them?

No matter if you agree or not with the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark, the message about zoos and their dominance over wild animals who perhaps should not even be there in the first place will remain a mystery and a grave disappointment to animal advocates.

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