That was the word The Copenhagen Zoo used to describe an 18-month-old giraffe named Marius. As a result of this label, in 2014 Marius was shot and killed, dissected in front of children, and fed to the zoo’s lions.
Now, two years later, the zoo is boasting about its newest addition: another baby giraffe. It posted a video of the birth, which occurred behind a metal fence in front of a cheering crowd.
This is what happens when an animal’s worth is determined by his or her ability to bring in money. Marius was killed because his genetics were considered too “common” and therefore undesirable for breeding, and the zoo reports culling 20 to 30 animals each year in order to manage its populations.
While the fate of this new giraffe is yet to be determined, what we do know is that he or she is unlikely ever to be released into a natural habitat. Breeding programs serve no true conservation purpose, because giraffes and other animals born in zoos are rarely, if ever, returned to their natural habitats.
What You Can Do
You can help prevent further suffering at zoos by refusing to visit any park or attraction that exploits them and encouraging your friends and family to follow suit.