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Danish zoo considering euthanizing young giraffe for gender reasons

February 13, 2014

For the second time this month, a zoo in Denmark is considering putting down a healthy male giraffe, this time for gender reasons, officials say.

In the first instance, an 18-month-old giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo was killed and its meat fed to lions and other animals in the zoo over concerns about inbreeding. In the second case, staff at the Jyllands Park near Herning are considering putting down a 7-year-old male to make room if the zoo acquires a female for breeding purposes, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

Coincidentally, both giraffes went by the name Marius, the British newspaper said.

Jyllands Park has two male giraffes and one would have to go when a female is acquired so the facility can embark on a breeding program. Zookeepers say there is a high likelihood Marius would have to be put down because of the difficulty in finding him a new home, the Guardian said.

Jyllands Park zookeeper Janni Lojtved Poulsen said there was no set time frame for the acquisition of a female giraffe and a final decision on Marius' fate would be made by the breeding program coordinator.

"If we are told we have to euthanize [Marius] we would of course do that," Poulsen said, adding the zoo would not be swayed by protests and death threats such as those that occurred with the killing of the young giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo.

"It doesn't affect us in any way. We are completely behind Copenhagen and would have done the same," Poulsen said.

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Source: UPI International Top News

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