In Defense of the Giraffe-Murdering Danish Zoos

Another day, another giraffe named Marius set to be killed by a Danish zoo.

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Another day, another giraffe named Marius set to be killed by a Danish zoo. We wrote on Monday about how the Copenhagen Zoo killed, skinned, and fed to lions a perfectly healthy giraffe named Marius. Now another Danish zoo, this one in Jyllands Park, is tentatively making plans to euthanize a male giraffe who is coincidentally also named Marius.

But before you get out your pitchforks and revolt against Denmark's zookeepers, know that they are in the right on this issue. Here's a few reasons why sometimes life is hard, and giraffes must die.

Adorable Giraffe Babies

The fewer males competing for female giraffes,
the more adorable babies (AP).

The basic reason Jyllands Park zoo needs to euthanize the still-alive Marius is because a female giraffe ready for breeding could soon be headed to the zoo and its two male giraffes. When that happens, "The two males will fight, which could result in the death of one of them," zoologist Jasper Moehring told the BBC. There can only be one giraffe for the female. Sadly for Marius, Jyllands Park zookeepers have determined that the hybrid giraffe is the worse breeding candidate of the two male giraffes, and so are being proactive by killing him.

Though it's a sad day for giraffe-lovers in the immediate, creating a new giraffe couple will lead to more cute, adorable baby giraffes. 15 months from when the couple get together, we'll awww at images of the new giraffe calf all day long.

Think of the Other Animals

It's the circle of life (AP).

Hey, lions have to eat, too. What makes a giraffe so much more special than any other type of potential lion food? "I know the giraffe is a nice looking animal," Copenhagen Zoo's scientific director Bengt Holst said," but I don't think there would have been such an outrage if it had been an antelope, and I don't think anyone would have lifted an eyebrow if it was a pig." Unless you are opposed to the existence of all carnivorous animals in the food chain, some animal has to get eaten. It's the circle of life, and the lion is still king.

Education and Attention

The goal of Copenhagen's public dissection of Marius the First was to educate local school children, and we suppose they did that. Not only that, but their controversial killing successfully raised the public's knowledge of giraffes globally as well. Did you know giraffe tongues are about 20 inches long? Now you do! Did you know that Marius was a name at all? Me neither!

The giraffe is dead. Long live the giraffe.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.