It was like a nightmare brought to life. Children covered their mouths and turned away as intestines were laid out on a table before them. No, this wasn’t a Halloween movie—just business as usual at the Odense Zoo in central Denmark.
According to reports, the female lion cub was killed nine months ago after it was decided that she was “surplus” and no other zoos would take her. The zoo’s site says it will kill animals to prevent in-breeding and admits that it has been dissecting animals in front of crowds for 20 years. A spokesperson from the zoo told BBC’s Newsbeat that this is a normal process, and while it may be normal for the zoos, it certainly isn’t normal for the lions. In the wild, the lion population and breeding would be controlled naturally, without human intervention.
This isn’t the first time that a Danish zoo has come under fire for public dissection. Last year, a giraffe named Marius was dissected in front of a crowd at the Copenhagen Zoo after he was killed by a bolt gunshot to the head.
After giraffe, Danish children to watch lion dissection http://t.co/Kfd5OT9LIU pic.twitter.com/wa5RJhSp0q
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) October 8, 2015
Zoos teach people that it is acceptable to interfere with animals and keep them locked up in captivity, and dissection desensitizes students to the sanctity of life. In the wild, this lion cub would have been free to roam with her pride, rather than being made the subject of a gruesome science lesson.
What You Can Do
Don’t go to zoos, and encourage your friends to do the same.