When Odense Zoo dissected a nine-month-old lion cub on Thursday last week, it occurred in front of a live audience mainly consisting of parents and very excited children.
But the zoo has come under heavy fire from animal activists due to the initiative, and now the Russian minister of natural resources and ecology, Sergey Donskoy, has joined the ranks of the opposition.
Donskoy referred to Odense Zoo’s dissection as “civilised barbarism”, according to the Russian media outlet Sputnik News.
“Such demonstrative activity is terrible. Firstly, it absolutely does not characterise Danish experts as the defenders of animals. Secondly, when this is done in front of children – it is difficult to say what their generation of zoologists will grow up to be,” Donskoy said according to Sputnik News.
Niet dissection spasibo
Donskoy is adamant that no Russian animals sent to zoos in Denmark would suffer a similar fate to that of the lion in Odense Zoo, or the giraffe Marius, which was put down, dissected and fed to lions at Copenhagen Zoo last year.
“If such attempts are made [with Russian animals], we shall revise our agreement with our colleagues. It’s hard to imagine that our animals may be dissected in public. When we pass on some of our animals to foreign zoos, we continue to monitor their fate.”
Last year, Moscow Zoo sent an antelope, two snow leopards, a gorilla and two goat species to zoos in Germany, Poland, Finland, Estonia, France and Denmark.