A bid to save a young giraffe from being killed at the Copenhagen Zoo has failed, and the animal's death has invited a spate of online outrage.
Thousands of people had signed an online petition to save the giraffe, after the zoo announced their plans to slaughter the animal because of European laws on inbreeding. The animal was killed, despite offers from other zoos such as the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Britain who were ready to give Marius a new home.
"Put a stop to this NOW. Marius deserves to live and there must be somewhere for him to go," the online petition had said.
Danish newspaper BT said that the healthy, young giraffe was fed some rye bread at 9:15 am (local time) and was shot in the head with a bolt gun. Live footage of what has been an outrageous ordeal for the poor animal, showing its body being dissected, was streamed by Ekstra Bladet. In the video, the zoo staff explains the process to the public, describing the giraffe's anatomy.
The meat will reportedly be fed to tigers and other carnivoros animals. The zoo defended the decision to kill the animal, saying that sending the animal to another zoo would only increase the risk of inbreeding.
"This situation should not have occurred at all. It just shows that the zoo is in fact not the ethical institution that it wants to portray itself as being, because here you have a waste product - that being Marius," Stine Jensen, from the Organization Against the Suffering of Animals (OASA) Denmark, told the BBC.
"Here we have a zoo which thinks that putting this giraffe down instead of thinking of alternatives is the best option," she added.
Meanwhile, a spate of messages have surfaced online, criticising the Danish zoo's decision to slaughter the animal. Let's take a look at some of these tweets:
— Deb Kingston (@Brah1) February 9, 2014
Copenhagen Zoo; was it really that much of a tall order to re-home the Giraffe? Disgraceful.
— Tom Hopkins (@tomhopkins69) February 9, 2014
I am seeing pictures on my timeline now of the murdered baby giraffe. So sorry twitter I am going offline for a while xxxx — Susan Deakin (@susiedeaks) February 9, 2014
Shame on Copenhagen Zoo. Killing a healthy, innocent giraffe is disgusting,
— Sarah (@grasshopper64) February 9, 2014