Monday, February 10, 2014

Not-So-Funny Animal News...

Zookeepers kill healthy baby giraffe with a bolt gun because he was 'surplus to requirements' and then feed him to the lions but not before doing an autopsy in front of young children

First off, Daily Mail, please for the love of all that's good and wholesome learn how to write a freakin' headline. Four - count 'em, four - separate parts of that very long run-on sentence. That's a bad opening paragraph, let alone headline.

[/copy editor]
This is the horrific moment schoolchildren crowded around to watch as the body of a perfectly healthy giraffe was chopped up before being fed to lions.

Despite more than 20,000 people signing an online petition to save two-year-old Marius, staff at Copenhagen Zoo yesterday went ahead and shot the animal with a bolt pistol.

Apparently, the genetics of captive giraffes are closely monitored, and the giraffe in question was too genetically similar to the other giraffes to allow to breed. We'll assume for the sake of argument that space and resources are so limited that the zoo cannot afford to keep non-breeding animals. With that said, why didn't the zoo send the giraffe to one of the many zoos that had offered to take it?
But bosses said the rules of EAZA membership meant animals could not be transferred to institutions that did not follow its rules on breeding programmes.

Well, now, glad that's settled. I mean, we can't have giraffes going to zoos that won't follow rules on breeding programs. Better kill the animal and cut it up in front of school children to keep it safe. Now, granted, there may be more to it than the story lets on (the media? Sensationalize a story when there's nothing there! NEVER!), but it's still a little bit odd that the zoo would rather turn down offers to purchase the giraffe in favor of turning it into Purina Lion Chow...

In any case, I'm glad these guys weren't in charge of Black Beauty...

That is all.

9 comments:

Dave H said...

Can't wait to see that Madagascar sequel.

Anonymous said...

Lions got to eat too my friend.

Philly zoo took donated horse and OMG ponies for food. Even my wife who loves her horses understood that.

Gerry

Armed Texan said...

The only criticisms I can muster for this is that they did it while the zoo was open and they did half the lions' work for them. Kill the animal humanely (as they did) and just drop the carcass into the lion exhibit after hours.

Of course this is Denmark, home of the vikings, so the after hours part probably didn't even occur to them.

Jay G said...

Gerry,

I'll bet the zoo could have fed the lions steak for a very long time had they taken the private offer to sell the giraffe...

Wolfman said...

Lions ate, schoolchildren learned something, and the breeding lines were preserved, preventing diseases associated with inbreeding (which involve things like hemophilia in humans, catastophically weak joints and immune systems in dalmations, and siezures in horses. Among other things). I dunno- this sounds like a net win. Its a shame for the actual giraffe in question, but death is never pretty for the one that gets to do it. All that stuff we talk about delegating violence to the police? That applies to food as well.

threecollie said...

This story was the subject of a lot of ranting here on our farm, where we raise and eat our own beef animals. Maybe that makes us hypocritical, but there it is. I understand that giraffes are made out of edible protein just like cows, but it seems as if the animal could have been much more valuable as an exhibit to teach children about wildlife than as lunch for lions.

Paul, Dammit! said...

I'm with Wolfman. I give no credence to the cuteness factor. It's free lion food, and since their quality control rules gave them no way to transfer it, Simba came out on top again. Also, at 2 years old, that was no baby. They're competing for mates at 3.
It's also worth recalling that no Giraffes die of old age or Alzheimer's in the wild. They die from complications related to being dragged down and eaten.
Finally, being able to necropsy a healthy giraffe will allow the participants to better care for the living ones. Experience does count.

Stretch said...

The Danes?
Odd, I always thought the Germans had the genetic fixation.

Geodkyt said...

The kids' families were informed of exactly what was going to happen, so attendance at the reduction of giraffe into Purina Lion Chow was wholly informed and voluntary. "Hey, families! Bring your kids by while we cut up a giraffe in front of them! They can learn about giraffe anatomy by watching us actually slice one up!"

As for selling the giraffe in violation of the rules, those rules were established precisely to prohibit animal transfers to facilities that do not meet organization standards. Since the same organization also has rules governing breeding, the zoo decided they needed to euthanize the animal in a humane fashion -- which they did. They then converted a lot of already paid for meat into lion food, and sectioned it to feed the lions in a balanced fashion rather than just dumping the whole carcass in for the lions to overeat, and let the rest rot.

I really cannot work up any outage or shock.