The news that the Copenhagen Zoo has carried out the execution of the resident young male giraffe, and cut his body up in front of onlookers, feeding him to the resident lions also in front of a young audience is macabre, insensitive and devoid of judgment and empathy...
We all know that lions eat meat and that in the wild they hunt and eat giraffes. In captivity, lions must be fed meat but it is a very far cry from feeding a captive animal “meat’ to feeding it the identifiable body parts of a named personality in the zoo , one who has died at the hands of the zoo authorizes for no crime whatsoever but for the very dubious reason that it’s genes were too like those of the other giraffes in the zoo.
We are supposed to think that this is OK! It is not OK ! Apart from being a crime against the animal who was in the care of the Copenhagen Zoo, to deliberately show the feeding of Marius to the lions to children is try to desensitize them to what was really a ruthless killing and amounts to a sort of pornography.
We all need to come to terms with our own omnivore /carnivore natures in the industrialized urban society many of us live in, divorced from nature but to commit this act, to show it to children and to expect them to understand is for want of a better word – sick.
I know a child can take in that a farm animal becomes meat on the table, but this incident in Copenhagen is ... gratuitous flaunting of the horror of zoo life. Are the children supposed to mull this over and conclude that it is OK because the respected zoo did it? It’s not OK! I wonder if Princess Mary's children were treated to this display.
In a way, for utter disregard of other creatures this possibly even beats the systemic mismanagement, cruelty and neglect of animals in the Surabaya Zoo. (Indonesia)
This planned and premeditated exercise in Copenhagen was carried with chilling efficiency and horrifies me as much as Surabaya Zoo's apparent careless neglect.
As with any such story, the killing of Marius the giraffe is ten times as distressing on knowing that it is common practice to kill healthy animals in zoos if the genes match too well.
I wonder what an interplanetary visitor would make of this killing. The ratio of giraffes to humans is – maybe 10,000 giraffes- depending on which article you read – max 100,000, and there are 7,143, 000,000 humans ( and rising rapidly ) This looks like a ratio of 71,430:1 at best.
But there was no place in the world for Marius the giraffe …