Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.


After giraffe scandal, Danish zoo ‘euthanizes’ 4 lions, cubs to make way for new male

Published time: March 25, 2014 20:21
Edited time: March 27, 2014 10:48
A lioness licks one of her newborn cubs (AFP Photo / Henning Bagger)

A lioness licks one of her newborn cubs (AFP Photo / Henning Bagger)

The Copenhagen Zoo that sparked international outrage by publicly killing and dissecting a healthy giraffe, has put down two lions and their two cubs to make room for new male lion, said zoo officials.

The Danish Zoo explained their actions saying that the two old lions have been euthanized as part of a generational shift, while their two 10 month old cubs would not be able to protect themselves.

"Because of the pride of lions' natural structure and behavior, the zoo has had to euthanize the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves," Copenhagen Zoo said in a statement on Monday.

The zoo added that the cubs "would have been killed by the new male lion as soon as he got the chance."

The lions, who were from the same family, were killed after the zoo authorities failed to find a new home for them, said the facility’s spokesman as cited by AFP.

He added that there would be no public dissection, as was done with the 18-month-old giraffe named Marius in February.

“Not all our animals are dissected in front of an audience," he added.

The healthy young giraffe was killed “to avoid inbreeding.” His genes were too common to be “included in the genetic chain without causing inbreeding problems” within the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), according to Bengt Holst, the zoo’s scientific director.

After he was shot, visitors were invited to observe his dissection for educational purposes. The giraffe’s remains were then fed to carnivorous animals at the zoo, including lions.

The zoo’s actions caused widespread outrage sparking protests with some even sending death threats to the officials.

Meanwhile, the new male lion will be welcomed at the Copenhagen zoo in a few days. He is to be introduced to the zoo’s two females to make a new family.

"The zoo is recognized worldwide for our work with lions, and I am proud that one of the zoo's own brood now forms the center of a new pride of lions," said chief executive Steffen Straede

Comments (35)


clover 24.04.2014 13:33

Oh... the insanity!!!


Regula 28.03.2014 10:19

Why was this lion family not repatriated into nature? Lions don't lose their instinct to hunt and they would have brought up the young. The zoo could then have introduced its new male lion to the remaining females. There isn't much purpose for zoos to keep animals just to play god and decide who gets to live and who doesn't. If you incarcerate lions then keep them until they die, or else repatriate them into nature.

Cat s survive when abandoned in the suburban streets - lions are cats. They would survive in their natural habitat.


Jodey Eliseo 27.03.2014 16:53

This is insane!
Life, all life, is not a throw pillow you can change with the seasons!
You have no right!
You have is a responsibility to care for these animals for life..not until it becomes inconvenient!
So meone with a brain please take over the decision making at this zoo before more damage is done.
Your reputation is already terribly tarnished.

View all comments (35)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or



Show password


or Register

Request a new password


or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:


or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile



New password

Retype new password

Current password



Follow us

Follow us