You may or may not have heard, but the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark has been getting some bad publicity lately. And if you think there is no such thing as bad publicity, please read on.
Yes, the land of Hans Christian Andersen and the Danish has a public relations problem on its hands. It seems the zoo had a perplexing challenge of having to diversify its narrowing giraffe gene pool. So after very careful thought and deliberation they decided the most acceptable solution was to euthanize the giraffe. I guess that will teach the other giraffes to go sticking their necks out. And you thought it was a jungle out there.
The zookeeper coaxed it over to a zookeeper tempting it with a piece of bread while holding a bolt gun behind his back. The minute the satisfied giraffe had completed its last meal (or snack in this case), the zookeeper blasted it through the head Soprano style. And then dissected it. Then fed the remains to its lions. In front of school children. Some of which it later euthanized too. (The lions I mean; not the schoolchildren.) Sounds more like a stalag than a zoo to me.
If you think this is quite barbaric, consider their reaction when the public expressed outrage. They sounded more outraged than those protesting it. The zoo’s staff claimed it is common practice to preserve the health and integrity of the species to do such things. I don’t know about you, but when I see a bumper sticker proclaiming “Save the animals!” images of greedy AK-47 armed poachers come to mind, not zookeepers.
And just for good measure, they euthanized four perfectly healthy lions the next week. You have to admit one thing; they sure are consistent. Rumors are that what little hair the elephants have is falling out, the tigers are wearing a path out in their paddock from all the nervous pacing, the hyenas have stopped laughing and the remaining giraffes are so nervous they are all getting a nasty case of whiplash trying to spot the next approaching zookeeper hiding something behind his back.
They claimed the two adult lions had to be eliminated because they were going to introduce a new lion into the exhibit. And their two young cubs? Well, they really weren’t old enough to look after themselves, so they had to go too. If I do my math correctly, that would be one minus four equals minus three. I’d say your chance of seeing a living, breathing and healthy lion at Copenhagen’s Zoo African section just got significantly smaller.
Just in case you’re wondering, zoos here in the United States do not subscribe to euthanizing animals to protect the gene pool. No, here sterilization is more common. Which just goes to show you the main problem with the gene pool. There is no lifeguard.