One Single Act Of Compassion Could Have Made A World Of Difference

Many of you like me will have been saddened by the unrelenting decision by Copenhagen zoo to publically shoot Marius the giraffe in an attempt to prevent inbreeding. Allegedly not responding to offers to rehouse Marius including one from Yorkshire Wildlife Park where they have a state of the art giraffe house because the zoo’s scientific director felt that the park’s space could be better used by a “genetically more valuable giraffe”. Anyone else feel uncomfortable with this reasoning?

I am deeply, deeply sorry that rescue didn’t come soon enough for Marius and horrified that children were invited to watch particularly when they will discover soon enough that this world can be a horrible place. I was raised to respect all living things and I fail to see what lesson will have been shared with those witnessing this truly appalling grisly event.

There’s something a little mercenary with an organisation that is quite happy to so ruthlessly destroy something when it’s passed its usefulness in the name of conservation but at the same time was happy to exploit this living breathing creature some eighteen months’ ago when it was born and clearly the subject of inbreeding wasn’t as important as generating extra ticket sales.

When one is so dependent on the public for funds was it really a wise move to ignore such vehement public opinion; only time will tell. I do know one thing it was not the proudest day in this zoo’s history and unfortunately the world will always remember Copenhagen zoo as the one that mercilessly slaughtered a gentle giraffe in a public arena and fed it to their lions.

The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world

marius

47 thoughts on “One Single Act Of Compassion Could Have Made A World Of Difference

  1. I have really mixed feeling on all this because from what I understand the zoo themselves were limited in their options because of the governing body overseeing the whole breeding programme in all the zoos and that transfer of an animal can only be to one of the zoos in the scheme and he would still have had to be kept alone or been castrated to prevent him breeding, I think it is terrible they let this happen in the first place if they knew genetically he would be surplus they should have kept his parents separate, but I find it interesting that everyone is so upset that a giraffe is fed to the lions yet does not question how many cows, goats, sheep etc are bred to be fed to them. I don’t know what the answers should be if we ban zoos then we sign the death warrant on numerous species that are endangered in the wild, but if we keep them then they have to be fed and to conserve a species selective breeding has to be implemented as well as the actual zoos making enough revenue to keep breeding endangered species. I think maybe it raises more questions than we can really answer without huge changes to the way animals are protected in the wild

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  2. I agree with all you say but if inbreeding was the real issue here then why wasn’t this dealt with before. Zoos see a significant increase in ticket sales when baby animals are born and clearly they were more than happy to take all the revenue generated from this. And in view of strong public opinion why was this not dealt with in a more sensitive manner as opposed to the whole media circus

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  3. If there’s anything that good comes of Marius’ fate, it will be that public opinion will be more aroused and turn against supporting zoos, water parks, any establishment that keeps wild animals captive, usually in climates far different than their native ones, for the purpose of being gaped at by humans. I for one will never set foot in a zoo or water park again to be mesmerized by captive, unhappy animals. I am reminded of Nick Park’s brilliant claymation film, here, the thoughts of a captive lion: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=dca_1270526462. If the lions had been on a reserve and the giraffe was released into the reserve, and they’d hunted it there, it would have been almost natural, and tickets would not be sold to watch the kill. The zoos justification for showing it to children was not natural, but conditions them that this is how we treat animals. As much as I’d like to see this beautiful creature up close, it’s really not my right. I think of the wonderful reserve for elephants in Hohenwald, TN (my father’s home) where elephants are allowed to roam, be social, and gawkers are not allowed. http://www.latebloomershow.com/

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  4. This is sad news indeed. I saw the story yesterday and thought is was awful but that story did not mention that children were allowed to view the scene. Had to be horrific.
    I could not and would not watch.

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  5. sigh…. what a crazy, bizarre world we live in… having read Paula’s comment, the one thing that jumped out at me was “he would still have had to be kept alone or been castrated to prevent him breeding”….. surely castration might have been kinder than killing the poor beast outright. Making it into a circus makes it all totally insane.

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  6. Really sad. How much of this really came down to money, I wonder. And children ought not to witness such things never mind the cycle of life thing. There’s plenty of time for that. So traumatic. … I fed a giraffe a carrot at Taronga zoo in Sydney. Such gentle creatures. Those eyes!!! Golly …

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  7. Yes, those people are insane and cruel… especially cruel… because they didn’t have to kill it in order to avoid inbreeding. They have been carried away by the mentality of advertising, and forgotten more humane aspects of their education. Phooey, the hell with them.

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  8. That is awful and quite frankly I think it all came down to money. Shooting the giraffe (why are they making a spectacle out of this? Why not just euthanize it away from prying eyes) was the cheaper option instead of trying to rehome it. So sad. 😦

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  9. this story by far and away brought us the point of wretched aching nausea. no dignity in the parade of his death, which was cruel and painful. to be shocked to death with a stun gut and cut up and fed to lions in front of gasping children and their ogling parents??? I’ve said this before, but there passes not more than a week when odie and i can only say “wtf is happening on this planet?”. I too, like another reader, promised not to visit and more zoos, holding tanks, and paid animal torture pleasure palaces in this lifetime or the next. they are barbaric and outdated.
    thanks for sharing the story, and excluding the pics of what they did to him. as half dane its insane to me to think what i considered a progressive social society saw no better option than torture and parade the carcass of a lovely young animal for shock and show. the roman games and bloodbath that propelled us thousands of years ago in bloodlust and has returned. the proof is here, in this one example. make no mistake. marius is not the only pig at the slaughter.
    hugs,
    o and om

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  10. This didn’t make it to the Singapore news (or I just missed it), but I think you are right to say that this is an example of what is wrong with the world. If Marius was a product of the breeding program, then they would have known in advance that this was going to happen. Therefore, if men want to play God, they should have done a better job.
    I can’t even begin to think what watching it would do to kids, but it doesn’t hold a lot of promise for the future…

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  11. I too was appalled. If inbreeding was a problem, they could have neutered him and allowed him to live a happy life at one of the places that offered to take him in. It was a pointless waste of a life that could have brought joy to many people, and needless cruelty.

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  12. Hmm, this is a tricky one isn’t it? I agree that it’s a situation that should never have been allowed to happen (waiting for the giraffe to grow up first so they could max out on profits is surely nothing but a cynical marketing move), but I really don’t see the problem with inviting kids and then feeding the animal to the lions. It’s not like anyone was forced to watch, and I don’t think kids being made more aware about the realities of life and death is a bad thing (although of course it’s difficult to divorce this from the fact that this was an entirely artificial situation – it’s not like poor Marius was hunted down in the wild which would have at least felt a bit fairer). Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

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    • I have a real issue with this; selling tickets to watch a healthy animal being butchered I fail to see the educational value although I agree with what you said them gently understanding the circle of life this was far too staged for my liking

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  13. Unbelievable!!! What next, shoot older citizens when they stop being productive, because they are a burden to the exchequer? if that man doesn’t lose his job, there is something seriously wrong with the world.

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    • It smacks of arrogance despite public outcry he still went ahead and in the most public of arenas. It will be interesting he is still in that job as sponsors who will no longer want to be associated with the zoo will stop funding

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  14. My dear Dallas – I have been following this unimaginable, horrific story. Sometimes, there are no words to describe the sheer cruelty that we have exacted on our fellow travelers. I have said it many times – and I will say it again: I really don’t believe that we are the most advanced species to walk this earth.

    “The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.” Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

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  15. And so we have yet another example of our shrinking compassion. There are zoos that do a wonderful job with their breeding programs, with their habitats and with care of species. There are others, like Sea World as an example that are appalling and should be shut down.

    Marius could have been fixed to prevent breeding, this would have been an acceptable solution. He also could have been traded to another zoo so there would be a wider gene pool in both groups, this also would have been acceptable. Instead he was killed and used as a meal, all of it done in a fashion that raised money for the zoo with children as the main audience, this was not an acceptable solution.

    Shame on the zoo. Shame on the parents who bought tickets.

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    • Personally I fail to see the educational benefit of this grisly act and can’t help but wonder if the parents who allowed their children to witness this spectacle would also take their children for a day out in an abattoir, somehow I think it unlikely

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