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Old 02-10-2014, 05:45 PM   #16
tina.tina
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I keep telling myself it's no different than the cows on my dad's farm but it's not helping me. It just seems like such a waste when other zoos were willing to take it.

My uncle bought a pig and kept it on my parents farm. My uncle lived next door to the field and so did I. The pig was so cute and would come when we called it. My kids loved to pet it and feed it apples. Its name was Barbie Q and they stated their intent all along but I guess I was in denial. My parents were really aggravated that I didn't come to their "barbecue."
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:47 PM   #17
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After reading a few articles, I will add "grotesque and horrific". What adult would subject a child to this gory public execution...and WHY?
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:05 PM   #18
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Stateside this might not be a big deal. I'm in the UK. To us, and a lot of Europe, this is horrifying. Plenty of Zoos offered to step in, even a guy West Coast offered to home him in his grounds, but the Zoo manager stated that their policy is to stop inbreeding and therefore it must destroyed. So WHY wait till it was four years old?? Or make it part of a breeding programme else where?? And watching it being skinned?? What on earth?? Not one person I know has shrugged this off. We're all very upset at this. It was un-neccesary.
It is a big deal to many of us here, also. There was no need for this to be done in the public eye, in front of people - including children - and cameras, even if it was a justified killing (which I'm not saying it was). Whoever was in charge of this was sorely lacking in judgement and sensitivity, IMO.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:27 PM   #19
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After reading a few articles, I will add "grotesque and horrific". What adult would subject a child to this gory public execution...and WHY?
I did not get a definitive idea from the article that the actual killing occurred in front of the public, just the necropsy.

While I absolutely feel they should have never brought an animal INTO the zoo's population without a plan for his future and vehemently disagree that this was the best way to deal with the situation after the fact, once the animal was dead, I do see the educational value in doing the necropsy publicly - not unlike the dozens of animals I dissected in middle school, high school, and college. I also think that once the animal was killed, feeding it to the large carnivores, though very hard to witness, especially for anyone that cared for that poor giraffe in his life, is actually very good for the large cats both nutritionally and for enrichment purposes. I recently read an article (and of course it's been a few months so I can't find it now) about how much captive carnivores physically suffer by not having natural prey items or at least whole food items, complete with bones, fur, etc. There are a host of dental and muscular issues that arise from simply being fed ground meat as most captive carnivores are.

In short, poorly handled, but at least they did make good use of the giraffe after they made the error.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:06 PM   #20
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This is the article I referenced earlier. Doesn't answer all the questions, but does address some of them:

http://fox2now.com/2014/02/10/zoo-ki...body-to-lions/

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(CNN) — An online petition to save a healthy young giraffe from death has failed, despite thousands of signatures from animal lovers.

Copenhagen Zoo said it euthanized the male, named Marius, on Sunday because of a duty to avoid inbreeding.

After an autopsy, “Marius” was dismembered in front of a zoo audience that included children, and fed to the zoo’s lions.

Despite online uproar over the move and reports of last-minute attempts to save the animal, the zoo in the Danish capital said it had no place for Marius in its giraffe herd.

“Our giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of ensuring a sound and healthy population of giraffes,” Bengt Holst, scientific director at Copenhagen Zoo, told CNN. “It can only be done by matching the genetic composition of the various animals with the available space. … When giraffes breed as well as they do now, then you will inevitably run into so-called surplus problems now and then.”

CNN anchor Jonathan Mann asked Holst if it would have been possible to sterilize Marius or move him to another zoo to avoid killing him.

“If we just sterilize him, he will take up space for more genetically valuable giraffes,” Holst answered.

Did the children watching cry? Mann asked.

Just the opposite, Holst said. The crowd was “very enthusiastic” and “the kids asked good questions.”

Fed to the lions

Marius was killed by a bolt gun, not a lethal injection, which would contaminate the meat.

The carcass was used partly for research and partly to feed carnivores at the zoo — lions, tigers, and leopards.

“In this case we would never throw away 200 kilograms of meat,” Holst said.

He said the giraffe was 2 years old, and while he was not officially named, his keepers had called him Marius to identify him.

The giraffe’s impending death had sparked outrage online, with more than 27,000 people signing a “Save Marius” petition, appealing for a last-minute change of heart.

“The zoo has raised him so it is their responsibility to find him a home,” author Maria Evans wrote on the petition site.

Copenhagen Zoo said that due to a massive debate on its Facebook page, it had published a Q&A about the decision on its website.

“It is not possible to transfer the giraffe to another zoo as it will cause inbreeding,” it said.

Several zoos volunteered to take Marius in.

The UK’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which says it has a state-of-the-art giraffe house and the capacity for an extra male, was among several places which put in offers to take him.

International breeding program

Copenhagen Zoo said only zoos that follow certain rules can be part of international breeding programs.

In Europe, these are members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. The association counts just over 300 members and under its rules, inbreeding among giraffes is to be avoided.

The association said in a statement Sunday that it supports the zoo’s decision.

Despite Marius being healthy, his genes are already well represented at the zoo. Releasing the giraffe into the wild would be unlikely to succeed, Copenhagen Zoo said.

Contraceptives “have a number of unwanted side effects on the internal organs and we would therefore apply a poorer animal welfare if we did not euthanize,” it said.

It also made clear that its policy was not to sell the animals.

Outside autopsy

Holst told CNN the autopsy had been performed outside, given the giraffe’s size, and watched by the public, including children if their parents allowed them to.

“It is a good opportunity to invite our guests to watch. … We are here to educate people and that is a good way to show people what a giraffe looks like,” he said.

“People could come into this area if they wanted to. They came with children, without children, we had a lot of people.”

He said a group of about 16 protesters had gathered outside the zoo on Sunday morning and that he had tried to speak with them.

He said all options had been explored before the decision had been made.

“We have always been very open about it, explaining why we are doing it,” he said.

On average, he said some 20 to 30 animals, including goats, antelopes and wild boar, were culled for the same reason every year at the zoo.

“This is the first giraffe. … I do not understand the outrage — we are all used to on a current basis of animals being culled in the wild,” he said.

“We have to ensure a safe healthy population for the future, and you can only have a healthy population if you control and coordinate your breeding efforts.”
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:51 PM   #21
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I did not get a definitive idea from the article that the actual killing occurred in front of the public, just the necropsy.
I have read it both ways today. So who knows.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:54 PM   #22
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If the rules of the breeding program say that you have kill a perfectly healthy young animal rather than rehome it, then something is seriously wrong with those rules. A wildlife park in the UK was willing to take him in. Yet some "rule" says he has to be killed instead? Something is definitely wrong there.

I watched a Facebook post last night from a rabbit rescue group. They posted a picture of a 4-month old female rabbit who was next on the list for euthanasia at an over-crowded animal shelter. The post said a "puller" was standing by to grab the rabbit from the shelter as soon as someone committed to adopting her, and having her spayed as soon as she was old enough. In less than an hour, they had someone who was willing to adopt but could not pay the fee for the spay. Another person agreed to donate the spay fee. The "puller" jumped in, paid the adoption fee, and arranged to transport the bunny to her new home.

If a group of strangers can join forces to save a tiny bunny in less than an hour, why can't a group of zoos and wildlife parks be allowed to do the same for such an exotic creature as a giraffe? If he couldn't breed, certainly his life could still be of value, especially if someone was willing to house and care for him.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:15 PM   #23
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These were some interesting comments.

Quote:
A veterinarian shot Marius with a rifle as he leaned down to munch on rye bread, a favorite snack. After an autopsy the giraffe was dismembered in front of an audience that included children and fed to the zoo's lions, tigers and leopards.

As for the public autopsy, Holst said Monday that the zoo staff saw it as a learning opportunity because zoos have an obligation "not to make nature into a Disney World," but rather show those interested in "the real thing."

Zookeeper and TV personality Jack Hanna, who is also director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, joined the chorus of outrage Monday, calling the Copenhagen Zoo's decision "the most abominable, insensitive, ridiculous thing I've ever heard of."

He also questioned why the Copenhagen Zoo would keep breeding animals for which they didn't have room. The Columbus Zoo would never put down an animal in this manner, Hanna said, and he wouldn't condone showing an animal consume another animal to children.

"I know it's natural in nature. I'm not an idiot," he said, "but I don't need to have some 2- and 3- and 6-year-olds -- they cannot understand at that age. You understand they don't understand nature. They haven't been to Africa, so that's what we do at the zoos. We try to educate people at zoos on what happens in the wild."

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/10/world/...k-zoo-giraffe/
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:19 PM   #24
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But again, we so far do NOT know that the UK group wanted him "no matter what" or if they only wanted him for breeding purposes. We also don't know anything of the quality of care he may have received had he gone there. Without those pieces of the puzzle, it's difficult to comment specifically on what should (or even could) have happened here.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:26 PM   #25
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Gumbo4x4, thanks for posting that article. It clears up several questions, but I still wonder: if they are having such success in breeding this genetically related herd within the 300 zoos, why do they keep on breeding? Giraffes have an average life span of 25 years - it's not like 2 yrs. ago they said "oh, wow, we're running low on giraffes, lets breed another one".

I wonder if it's because it was a male? I'm thinking intact males cannot be easily housed/corralled (?) together because of competition like many other species?

And whilst I see the value in an autopsy for learning purposes, sorry, I don't see that as a spectator sport for the general public.

Guess this hits home because I was one of the people here following the Giraffe webcam at the Greenville, SC zoo a few years ago and watched the birth of "Kiko". To think he'd be put to death at age two is beyond sad.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:28 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumbo4x4 View Post
But again, we so far do NOT know that the UK group wanted him "no matter what" or if they only wanted him for breeding purposes. We also don't know anything of the quality of care he may have received had he gone there. Without those pieces of the puzzle, it's difficult to comment specifically on what should (or even could) have happened here.
This giraffe wasn't just euthanized.... The "rest of the story" is what has caused such outrage. I refuse to look at the photos, but the written account was quite disturbing.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:42 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by TLSnell1981 View Post
After reading a few articles, I will add "grotesque and horrific". What adult would subject a child to this gory public execution...and WHY?
The article and video didn't specifically state that the giraffe was killed in front of the crowd. But obviously the execution was publicized in advance, allowing those interested the opportunity to attend. No one attending seemed to have a problem with it. Not something I'd care to watch, but those attending apparently thought there would be some educational value to it.

Although unusual, I don't see this as any different than the killing of horses, deer or whatever other animals necessary to feed the big cats.

My local newspaper had a fairly large headline about this on inside page 3, with pretty much the same story as in the CNN article. At least the lions got some variety in their diet.

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Old 02-10-2014, 09:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by denisem View Post
Gumbo4x4, thanks for posting that article. It clears up several questions, but I still wonder: if they are having such success in breeding this genetically related herd within the 300 zoos, why do they keep on breeding? Giraffes have an average life span of 25 years - it's not like 2 yrs. ago they said "oh, wow, we're running low on giraffes, lets breed another one".

I wonder if it's because it was a male? I'm thinking intact males cannot be easily housed/corralled (?) together because of competition like many other species?

And whilst I see the value in an autopsy for learning purposes, sorry, I don't see that as a spectator sport for the general public.

Guess this hits home because I was one of the people here following the Giraffe webcam at the Greenville, SC zoo a few years ago and watched the birth of "Kiko". To think he'd be put to death at age two is beyond sad.
The article does give us a better idea of "the other side", but yes there are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered. I have speculated & still believe it may be a factor that there WAS room for another giraffe in the program, but not another MALE. Hence the reason the birth was permitted, but why he had to be culled once being born male. There's also the possibility that they simply got sloppy and left the male and females together too long at the wrong time and ended up with an unplanned birth. I honestly don't know if they practice natural impregnation, or AI in these programs. Maybe some of the zoos in the program have unexpectedly closed, leaving the "planned" home for this giraffe no longer an option. One way or another, I have to believe there is some logical explanation that tells us why this giraffe was even born into a "crowded" breeding program. And I would hope we'll get that answer at some point.

The autopsy doesn't bother me though if the death can be justified. I'm of the impression that they didn't simply just spring this on an unsuspecting crowd and rather gave them fair warning. So, I'm okay with that - Jack Hanna's comments notwithstanding. Speaking of which, I love his shows and Jack does a lot of wonderful work. He's also a bit of a softie and his own ideals frequently run counter to those of professional wildlife biologists. So, I do take his comments with somewhat of a grain of salt, particularly as they pertain to the culling or harvesting of wild animals.

We're a bit giraffe-obsessed here - particularly my youngest daughter. We felt very fortunate to see that webcam birth live. We were all huddled around the screen. I too am saddened that an excess zoo animal, presumably bred on purpose, would need to be culled, even if it weren't something so incredibly cool as a giraffe. I'm glad we got a bigger piece of the story, but I do think they "owe" us the rest of the story before I can fully be at peace with this. I'm not yet ready to come out on either side.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:52 PM   #29
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This giraffe wasn't just euthanized.... The "rest of the story" is what has caused such outrage. I refuse to look at the photos, but the written account was quite disturbing.
I really don't think so. Yes, there is outrage over the after death portion. But, I do believe the BIGGEST outrage is over his being put down. From what I've seen, there are those outraged by the whole thing, and those outraged only by the fact he was put down. I haven't really seen anyone "okay" with the culling and at the same time outraged over the dismembering.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:53 PM   #30
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What bothers me is how most news stories state in their heading or first few paragraphs that this giraffe was "euthanized" when in fact as it bent down to eat its favorite treat they shot it in the head with a bolt action rifle/gun

Why they would not allow anyone else to take the animal I feel is ludicrous...both zoos, private institutions and individuals offered and offered money to take it so it would not be destroyed but they were determined to do it
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