By SARAH GRAMMER
After shooting a healthy, young giraffe back in February, the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark made the brave decision to slaughter more animals. Marius was the name of the giraffe was shot by a veterinarian at the zoo and then dismembered and fed to an assortment of other animals in front of an audience. The Zoo received major backlash for their actions, although they claimed that they killed the giraffe to prevent inbreeding and protect the giraffe population as a whole.
This month, the Zoo put down four healthy lions to make way for a new three-year-old male lion from Givskud Zoo. The zoo says they had no other choice but to put down the lions. Copenhagen Zoo claims that two of the lions killed were younger lions and the new male would have killed them had they not been put down first.
The other two lions were older females, and they did not want them to mate with the young lion and then have pregnancy complications.
Are these valid reasons to want to remove the four lions? Yes. Was killing them the best option? No.
The Zoo claims that they looked into placing the lions elsewhere, but there did not seem to be any interest.
While the Zoo is not wrong in considering these problems, their solutions to them are barbaric and heartless. Animals should not be in captivity in the first place. Problems such as these occur all the time in the wild.
The animals work them out amongst themselves just fine because that is how they are programmed to function as a population.
It would be more natural for the Zoo to let the animals decide who among them would live or die. That is how it happens in the wild, so why should it be different in a zoo? Humans should not be able to decide which animals live or die.
There is no evidence that the Zoo tried to place Marius in a new home before he was killed. The Zoo does claim that they tried to place the lions somewhere else, but no other facilities were interested in taking them. Did the Zoo really look hard enough to relocate the lions?
We do not know how many places the Zoo asked before giving up on the search for a new home. After having to deal with negative reactions from the public after killing Marius, the Zoo could have said they searched just to appease the public.
Furthermore, why did the Zoo have the new lion coming in if they knew they would have to execute four others to keep him?
The Zoo did not have to accept the new lion if it meant putting down four others.
If the Zoo had not accepted the new lion then all five lions would be alive and well today. Copenhagen Zoo’s actions should open the eyes of the public to how horribly animals are treated in captivity.