Earlier this week, A zoo in Copenhagen publicly killed an eighteen year old giraffe and afterward was fed to lions. The Zoo put down the Giraffe to prevent inbreeding with the populations of giraffes located in the populations database for the zoo. This was done to keep the genes located in the particular giraffe to himself and not to spread to others.
Sources from the zoo said that experts have put down close to 20-30 other animals for the exact same reason of preventing inbreeding. The Copenhagen Zoo uses a database to find possible mates for certain animals like the giraffes. According to the Zoo, they could not find a mate for the particular giraffe that had genes that weren’t similar to his. So instead the giraffe was decided to be put down by sedatives and then shot with a gun. Then in regards to keeping the life cycle of other animals correct, they fed the giraffe to the lions. Keep in mind, this entire process was open to pubic viewing for research and scientific purposes.
Giraffes are not an endangered animal, however over the last couple years they have been hunted increasingly for sport dropping their populations to close to threatening levels.
The strange part about this story is that according to sources and other news stations, the zoo in Copenhagen was offered huge sums of money (close to 500,000 Euros) from civilians and third parties. The zoo was also contacted by three other zoos that offered to house the giraffe in separated venues and areas.
It truly is a strange string of events with such a beautiful animal. If the problem was just reproducing the question might be asked as to why couldn’t they just neuter the animal. My only possible guess is that many animals like giraffes and hippos are very difficult to perform these type of operations on. The first hippo to be successfully neutered was taken place this year at Animal Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida.
To sum up my opinion on this event, I understand the stand the zoo made to try and keep these animals from being poisoned by genes. The giraffe could have been in much worse pain if it continued.