A healthy giraffe was born at Copenhagen Zoo last week, and people all over the world are enjoying an online video featuring the tiny creature.
Although the calf has been declared fit, it still risks meeting the same infamous fate as Marius, the giraffe whose death at the hands of zookeepers became the subject of global outrage in 2014. Marius’s carcass was dismembered and fed to the zoo’s lions as schoolchildren looked on.
“When the giraffe reaches the age of two, where it would leave the herd in the wild, we will see if there may be room for it in another zoo. We will of course do our best to find a place for it, but if it cannot be done, it will be killed,” wrote Copenhagen Zoo on Facebook.
Hate mail and death threats last time around
Marius was slaughtered and fed to the lions because the zoo could not relocate him, and because his genes were too common to be included in a breeding program.
The killing of the otherwise healthy animal sparked widespread outrage both in Denmark and around the world. Copenhagen Zoo was flooded with hate mail and its scientific director, Bengt Holst, subsequently received death threats over the decision to kill Marius.
The zoo made headlines again after it euthanised two lions and their two cubs – the same animals that ate Marius – to make way for a new male.
“Because of the pride of lion’s natural structure and behaviour, the zoo has had to euthanise the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves,” the zoo said at the time.