Visitors to the Copenhagen zoo who wanted to see some wildlife got QUITE an eyeful this past weekend. Marius, a perfectly healthy 18-month-old giraffe was killed with a bolt pistol to prevent giraffes from inbreeding.
Visitors, including little children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was skinned and fed to lions as a scientific educational experience.
The decision to kill Marius has outraged animal lovers worldwide. Thousands had signed a petition to stop the killing. The zoo turned down offers from other zoos to take him and a wealthy private individual who had offered to buy him, the Associated Press reports.
"I'm actually proud because I think we have given children a huge understanding of the anatomy of a giraffe that they wouldn't have had from watching a giraffe in a photo," zoo spokesperson Stenbaek Bro told the AP.
The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria supported the zoo's decision to "humanely put the animal down and believes strongly in the need for genetic and demographic management within animals in human care," the AP wrote.