The outrage over Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer’s slaughter of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe was well deserved. I have previously penned several articles about the detested dentist.
Some Danish zoos seem to be equally reprehensible. In February of last year, the Copenhagen Zoo took a perfectly healthy baby giraffe name Marcus, shot him in the head, displayed his dead caucus to children, and then fed him to the lions. In addition, the zoo reportedly ignored a 50,000 euro ($68,220) offer from Britain’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park to take Marcus and let him live a long and happy life there.
Despicable? Appalling? Outrageous? There’s more. The following month the same Copenhagen Zoo executed a family of four healthy lions— two cubs and their parents, to make room for another lion!
Last year the Odense Zoo in central Denmark reportedly killed a healthy young lioness due to zoo overpopulation, and then froze her remains. Next week they intend to publically dissect her for the “education” of school children.
Zoos often claim one their reasons for existing is to teach kids to love and respect animals. (Of course, books and wildlife documentaries could do the same with imprisoning and slaughtering animals.) Sadly, the lesson here is simple and cruel– in these zoos the animals are throw-aways, there to entertain, amuse and, generate revenue. They breed these animals in captivity instead of spaying, neutering, or administering birth control– then they dispose of the unwanted offspring by killing them. That is about as ugly as it gets.
A European Association of Zoos and Aquaria spokesman has reportedly stated that about 3,000 to 5,000 animals are killed each year under programs to manage zoo populations.
The solution is simple. Boycott zoos that treat animals as disposable objects. Those who provide financial support are enabling this slaughter of the innocents. I also question the ethics of the Danish government that would allow such practices.
“You can judge the morality of a nation by the way the society treats its animals.” -Mahatma Gandhi.
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