The lions’ share: Horse owners queuing up to offer their equine friends up as lion feed

Copenhagen Zoo offers to come and pick up the dead horses for free

“A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse,” Shakespeare’s Richard III cried out in vain – in the carpark of a pub in Leicester it transpired.

Yes, there was a time when horses were a precious commodity, but not anymore at Copenhagen Zoo where they are queuing up around the block to be fed to the lions.

It’s become so popular among the pony club brigade to give up their hoofed pals to the zoo as lion feed, that there is a six-month waiting list. Autumn is a particularly busy time.

“It’s often due to the old horses being given a last summer in pasture, but when they need to return to the stables again, the owners evaluate the time has come for the horses to be put down. And then they call us,” Jacob Munkholm Hoeck, the head of communications for Copenhagen Zoo, told NetAvisen.

READ MORE: Danish zoo in mourning following death of rare baby rhino

Yay or neigh?
As part of the transaction, the zoo offers to drive out and pick up the dead horse for free, which motivates many horse owners to donate their animals.

Horse meat is on the menu for the lions at the zoo on a daily basis, while the tigers and brown bears also get a taste.

The polar bears, however, are not allowed to dine on horse meat, as they could risk contracting horse herpes from devouring the meat.

With giraffe also on the lions’ menu, the lions are certainly getting a varied diet.