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Marius the giraffe killed at Copenhagen Zoo and fed to the lions

Meet Marius,an 18-month-old giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo who was slaughtered in front of visitors Sunday morning.

According to TIME, a spokesman for the zoo said that there were already many giraffes with genes similar to Marius’ in their international breeding program.

Their solution? Off with his head. The zoo’s director made the decision euthanize him. They then shot Marius in the head and chopped him in to little pieces for the lion’s Sunday dinner — all of which of course was done in front of visitors, including small children. A little traumatic to a 4-year-old, don’t you think?

Many attempted to save Marius. An online petition gained more than 20,000 signatures and two different zoos said they would take him in. One individual even offered 500,000 euros to stop the killing, but the zoo disregarded all of this, and Marius’ fate was sealed.

Robert Krijuff, director of a wildlife park in the Netherlands couldn’t believe it. He had made a last-minute offer to take Marius but was rejected.

“We offered to save his life. Zoos need to change the way they do business,” he said.

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There seems to be a bigger reason Marius was killed though, and it stinks of money. Even with all the attempts to save Marius’ life, this zoo simply ignored them all and ended it.

Think about it: This giraffe was unwanted because his genes were not valuable to them. They couldn’t breed him. They had to feed him. He was simply taking up room at the zoo and costing them money. In order to ship him off to another zoo would be a hassle and also costly. Plus, the lions are always hungry and this would be a free meal. Verdict: Marius bites the bullet.

But to publicly slaughter this majestic animal and dissect his body in front of children, a little extreme don’t you think?

“I don’t think anyone would have lifted an eyebrow if it was a pig,” said the zoo's scientific director, Bengt Holst.

Ya. That’s because it’s a pig. We eat pigs! And bacon is delicious. For us to watch a pig die for food isn’t out of the norm. To see a giraffe slaughtered for no reason is.

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Lions eat giraffes in the wild, understandable. The difference is we aren’t forced to watch them being dissected, skinned and put on display. Maurius' death has rekindled debate over zoo conditions, and officials at the zoo say they have received death threats.

Animals Rights groups are up in arms over the killing of Marius. Animal Rights Sweden released a statement saying that Marius’ death highlights what they believe to be the normal treatment of animals in zoos.

“It is no secret that animals are killed when there is no longer space or if their genes aren’t interesting enough. The only way to stop this is to not visit zoos,” they said.

Could you imagine being killed because you weren’t interesting enough?

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