February 10, 2014

A last meal of rye bread, execution by gunshot to the head, public dissection, and a feeding of the flesh to lions...

... so ends life for Marius the giraffe. His crime? Unsuitability for breeding. His genes are too common and they don't want so much inbreeding.
The zoo's decision to conduct the public dissection, and the disclosure that the animal was shot rather than being killed by lethal injection so that it could be fed to the carnivores, fanned the protests and provoked some calls for the zoo to be boycotted or closed. The controversy was fed further by startling images and video of the process, including a picture of a large chunk of meat with an unmistakably spotty hide being fed to the lions....
Stop your crying. It's science, children!
Bengt Holst, the zoo's scientific director, said he had never considered cancelling the killing, despite the protests. "We have been very steadfast because we know we've made this decision on a factual and proper basis. We can't all of a sudden change to something we know is worse because of some emotional events happening around us. It's important that we try to explain why we do it and then hope people understand it. If we are serious about our breeding activities, including participation in breeding programmes, then we have to follow what we know is right. And this is right."
We can't all of a sudden change to something we know is worse because of some emotional events happening around us....

You know what that reminded me of? This (of course!).

47 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

Good to know that the lions are not living in a food desert.

RecChief said...

Actually it reminded me of the pathetic bleating of ObamaCare supporters: "IT'S. THE. LAAAAAWWWW!!"


Also, reading, "A last meal of Rye of bread, execution by gunshot to the head, public dissection, and a feeding of flesh to lions...", I thought was a liberal/progressive fantasy about the Tea Party (or the NRA or KXL supporters or the 1% or.......)

MadisonMan said...

The kids in the video looked fascinated. The lions looked very very interested.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Choosing to not use the giraffe for breeding was a sound scientific decision.

Choosing to kill, dissect, and feed him to the lions was a financial decision. And since most zoos depend financially on the public perception that they are caring for the animals like a family cares for its pets, this was likely a very bad financial decision.

chrisnavin.com said...

Well, there ya go.

St. George said...

Do you mean that..that..that...lions eat...other animals...They eat giraffes! Oh, my God.

Can we do something to stop this? Can Pres. Obama send the military to Africa? Perhaps UN Peacekeepers, too. What about Madonna? Can she do something to help? Maybe a concert?

Oh, I'm getting dizzy. The horror.

Laslo Spatula said...

They should show the video to some of those pandas that don't seem to want to reproduce. I'm sure the lions would enjoy panda meat.

CatherineM said...

I think this was unnecessary. There were sactuaries willing to take him where he could have lived.

Thorley Winston said...

I agree with Ignorance is Bliss, one was a scientific decision and the other was financial. Both may have been entirely rational except that to the extent that financial support of the zoo depends on the public’s perception of the zoo, the people making these kinds of decisions need to take in account how the public might react to this sort of activity.

David said...

Needs a death panel tag.

Also do you have a tag for fulfillment of destiny?

Why else do giraffes exist, other than to be food for lions?

So a Clinton tag would work too.

Bob Boyd said...

Giraffe Death Panel Stands by Decision.
"What difference at this point does it make?", cried an indignant Director Holst after zoo goers spotted large chunks of the late Marius being carted into the Lion exhibit.

Thorley Winston said...

think this was unnecessary. There were sactuaries willing to take him where he could have lived.

This sounds right. Moreover if there was a concern about the finances of getting the giraffe to the sanctuary, I can’t imagine it would have been that hard to raise the funds. People generally like animals that are found in zoos and (unless someone was boneheaded enough to say “give us ten thousand dollars or we kill the giraffe”) asking for the public to help put the giraffe in a sanctuary would have probably generated tons of free positive publicity for the zoo.

This just seems to have been handled poorly.

tim maguire said...

How could they feed this giraffe to the lions instead of letting it go to waste and killing a few extra goats and sheep instead?!? Where do I go to protest the choice not to waste perfectly good food?

Unless...giraffe burgers! Where do I go to protest wasting this rare opportunity to eat giraffe by feeding it to lions instead?

Could that be what the protest was really about?

TosaGuy said...

Good operational thinking. Poor strategic thinking.

tim maguire said...

PETA's latest motto: Kill more sheep and goats!

PB Reader said...

Pandering to emotions doesn't lead to good outcomes.

This is why you shouldn't stop people from trying to do things that may harm them. How else are we going to improve the species if undesirable traits don't disappear?

Levi Starks said...

Lions after dinner: "well it's about time they brought in some decent food for us to eat" The lions no longer live in a food desert.

EDH said...

A bullet in the brain: the new vasectomy under Obamacare.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So they had sound scientific reasons for preventing the giraffe from breeding. Fine.

But they chose to kill him rather than pay for his contraceptives.

#WarOnGiraffes

cubanbob said...

A bullet in the brain: the new vasectomy under Obamacare."

If it didn't have a ring of truth to it that would be funny.

The zoo was offered 50,000 Euro by a wildlife sanctuary in the UK. $68,000 at today's exchange rate. I doubt it would cost that much to ship Marius to the UK.

bbkingfish said...

Someone somewhere did something someone else thinks is wrong.

What do you think about it?

CWJ said...

Given the choice, I'm sure the giraffe would preferred castration.

CWJ said...

Another contentless comment from bbkingfish.

glenn said...

Marius was unavailable for comment.

Andy Freeman said...

> And since most zoos depend financially on the public perception that they are caring for the animals like a family cares for its pets, this was likely a very bad financial decision.

Most teenage boys would pay extra to see a lion eat a giraffe.

viator said...

Plans afoot to do the same thing to members of the Tea Party.

southcentralpa said...

Wasn't a gunshot, it was a bolt gun (consult "captive bolt pistol" in wikipedia. I don't know of a single body of veterinarians in the world that doesn't consider that a humane method of killing.

Mike said...

The first thing I thought of when I read this story was something we saw years ago at the San Francisco Zoo. We were in the childrens zoo watching the meercats when we noticed that one of the meercats was playing with something that looked like it had a face. Turned out to be a rabbit head -- I guess normal zoo procedure is to throw in something different every once in awhile to keep the animals interested.

Some of the other parents standing around were horrified and started to raise a stink, but we were fascinated. It was a good lesson that proper care of some animals sometimes means doing something nasty to other animals. Nature is cruel.

Hagar said...

Nature is not cruel; it is just nature.

Mike said...

"Nature is not cruel; it is just nature."

True enough.

I forgot to mention that the meerkat enclosure was directly across from a grassy pen where kids could line up to pet a variety of large, fluffy bunnies.

rhhardin said...

Guillotine was out.

A blindfold would have been nice.

gerry said...

We can't all of a sudden change to something we know is worse because of some emotional events happening around us....

But you went and voted for Obama anyway.

Joe said...

Isn't that cruelty... to the lions? Why not just put the giraffe in the cage and let them kill it themselves?

Ralph Hyatt said...

I don't think anything like this could happen in the U.S. because of the bad publicity it would generate. I mean we are talking government investigations and being vilified in the press.

However, apparently, since the public dissection was attended by large numbers of people, including children, the Danish are not so sentimental.

Reminder to self: Never be old and in Denmark simultaneously.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Dogs and cats are aborted by the tens of thousands annually, including thousands in PETA affiliated shelters. Bat and birds are aborted by the tens of thousands annually as they fail to run the windmill gauntlets. Why then is one giraffe of interest? Did it have a name? It was aborted for the greater good.

n.n said...

"Marius the giraffe". So, it was named. That's probably what prompted the emotional response.

Anyway, it should have been taken to a clinic, injected with poison, then dismembered. However, instead of feeding the toilet or hazardous waste receptacle, its meat could be recycled to feed the lions.

Out of sight and out of mind. No one would be the wiser, and the lions would survive to roar another day.

lemondog said...

Why not prevent the conception?

Hope his parents had a good view.

If the Danes are so concerned about 'inbreeding' let them look to their own demographics.

After all, it's only science.

A**holes.....

Roger Sweeny said...

Taking this giraffe to a sanctuary to live out his days and die of old age would be profoundly unnatural. Feeding him to the lions is a lot more natural.

The director here made the zoo a little more natural and a little less of a fantasyland. Unfortunately for him, lots of people who think they are nature lovers prefer fantasyland.

Gahrie said...

I have a link to a gif of male chicks being macerated shortly after they hatch because they are of the egg laying variety and so useless.

It's not too bad until you actually realize what is happening.....

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

lemondog:

The animal was born, lived, and is now meat for other animals.

Do you propose we anthropomorphize animals? Do you adhere to a faith which maintains a human/animal equivalence? Or is this merely an attempt to defend abortionists, and their female contractors, who terminate several million human lives annually for money, sex, ego, and personal convenience?

lemondog said...

Zoos are a human creation, antiquated and unnatural so why have them except for public entertainment. With current technologies when they can be viewed in the wild, there seems to be no reason to hold wild animals in concrete enclosures with little in way of room to roam and foliage to feed upon. If for species preservation then setup appropriate sanctuaries.

I support PAWS and other similar sanctuaries that rescue wild animals from cramped zoos, abusive circuses and other unnatural settings with the intent of providing as natural an environment as possible sans predators

PAWS

n.n said...

lemondog:

That is a worthy topic for debate. While I do not anthropomorphize animals, there is cause to treat them morally. I don't agree that it necessarily extends to removing them completely from an artificial environment and human economy.

Joe said...

While I do not anthropomorphize animals, there is cause to treat them morally.

So, the giraffe should live and a cow should die? The Lion's food had to come from somewhere. Where do you think that is? Magic land?

The giraffe was put down the same way cows are. There was nothing immoral about it. Get over it.

John Lynch said...

My God, just castrate the poor animal rather than killing it. How hard would that be?

This isn't "nature." The lions didn't kill the giraffe, people did. The lions eating the meat doesn't matter. The bullet to the head does.

This is people killing an animal they were responsible for. If it was a poor genetic match, how did it get to be in the zoo in the first place? From an animal welfare perspective this is awful. These aren't domestic animals, but wild animals being raised by people.

Why have zoos at all if the welfare of the individual animals doesn't matter?

Anthony said...

If they needed to kill the giraffe and feed him to the lions, why not cut out the middleman, and just let the lions do what they do naturally?