The Danish zoo that shot and killed a giraffe before cutting him up in front of an audience and feeding his body to lions has once again drawn public criticism for killing off four members of its lion pride.
In an announcement on its website, the zoo declared that they had “made a change in the lion pride” by euthanising a male lion, a lioness, and two young lions to make room for a new male lion.
“If the Zoo had not made the change in the pride now then we would have risked that the old male would mate with these two females – his own offspring – and thereby give rise to inbreeding,” the statement explained.
They also added that there was a risk the younger lions would be killed by the new male or the new male would not be accepted into the pride.
Outrage has followed the decision, with many criticising the zoo for poor planning and animal cruelty.
If you raise animals in captivity you should have a responsibility to care for them not just until they become ‘inconvenient’ #CopenhagenZoo
— Melissa (@AtheistMel) March 26, 2014
The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria has released a statement about the culling, acknowledging that the decision was a reasonable and humane one.
“While EAZA regrets the death of the animals in question, we recognize the right of Copenhagen Zoo to humanely cull them in line with their policies,” the statement says.
The story of Marius, the 18-month-old male giraffe who was executed by the zoo in February due to his inability to contribute to a breeding program, seized the world’s attention due to his seemingly senseless death and the public autopsy that followed.
Marius was lured to his death with his favourite food – a piece of rye bread.