Danish Zoo that killed giraffe just euthed 4 healthy lions, including 2 cubs

The Danish zoo that had a public execution and dismemberment of Marius the young healthy giraffe,just killed 4 of their lions, so they could bring in an new male. Because they really need to keep breeding animals they won’t care for.


I trust the judgement of professional zoo keepers above internet vitriol.
First person who uses the word ‘outrage’ gets a stick in their eye, so they look like this:smack:

If you don’t understand how global breeding programs for endangered species work, you might not want to compare them to the family down the street that keeps spawning litter after litter of mutts and then drowning them.

If your kids get to see some of these species in the fur 50 years from now, it’s because of rigidly run (and sometimes harsh) programs like this.

What is the explanation, though?

On the other hand, this won’t change your mind if you think zoos are terrible.

Did you not know that when a lion assumes leadership of a pack, he kills all the male cubs so that the lionesses go back into estrus and he can make his own babies. Lion killing cubs in the wild. No humans involved.

So OP, you have 3 choices:

1)No new male lion enters the pack and the lions die out from inbreeding.

2)Cubs die gruesomely and painfully as the lion rips them to shreds.

3)Cubs die quickly and painlessly from a bolt to the head.

Can the cubs not 4) get sent somewhere else? This is arguably more understanding than the killing of the young giraffe when other zoos were saying they would take him, but for some reason I’m not that confident in this zoo’s judgment.

I would assume not anywhere that has a current alpha male.

This. I remember reading a study once that found that controlled big game hunting was actually good for lion populations, because it got rid of surplus males that would otherwise be running around fighting each other and killing the infants.

This is only a story because they’re lions and the cubs are cute, furry and cuddly with big soppy eyes.

If a zoo/breeding program were to kill off some frogs or lizards for similar reasons there would be no outrage whatsoever.

Oooh, lookie, I used the word outrage! :smack:


Same issue as Marius. You can only send them somewhere else, if there is a proper location to send them. For Marius, the answer was “no”. Could be the same issue here.

Yes, I assume that wouldn’t be an option. But another zoo with a pride of lions, perhaps? I don’t know but I’d like some more information before we rule it out.

Does anyone know if the cubs were male?

From here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-26/copenhagen-zoo-kills-four-lions/5345706

I had a hamburger the other evening. It was delicious.

No, it couldn’t. A giraffe is a much more inconvenient animal to transport, both because of its size and shape and because it’s a herbivore.

So… they killed the parents, and then killed the cubs to stop them being orphans?

There’s also the issue of breeding diversity, which was a major factor in euthanizing the giraffe. If zoos and breeding programs keep their programs full of non-diverse individuals, there is no space or resources to keep and breed in diverse ones. A smaller overall population of diverse strains is far more valuable than a program with 50 of one and 50 of another and no room (physically, financially or in herd-management and breeding terms) for any others.

As a general rule, animals don’t believe in adoption of unrelated children.

In ANY pride of lions the alpha male will almost always kill (and often eat) the immature cubs of any other male. That would mean raising those cubs outside of a pride until they were physically mature enough to mate with a male lion, at which point the male is far more likely to accept them. I’m not clear on how old these cubs actually are, but if they’re too young to “fend for themselves” they might still need parental care. A lioness is not going to adopt/care for two stranger cubs suddenly dumped in her pen. That means raising by humans, which carries potential problems up to and including difficulties later in relating to their own species.

Strictly speaking, it’s unnatural for most lion cubs to survive to maturity, but that’s what tends to happen in zoos. This is far less harsh than what would occur in the wild, and far more humane.

So is the problem that this one particular zoo ended up on somebody’s radar? Are zoos all over the world routinely slaughtering healthy exotic animals with no publicity?

India apparently forbids it. Not exactly a model breeding program though.