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‘Surplus’ giraffe put down at Copenhagen Zoo

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A bid to save a young giraffe from destruction at Copenhagen Zoo has failed, and the giraffe was put down on Sunday morning.

Thousands of people had signed an online petition appealing for a change of heart over the two-year-old called Marius.

The zoo said it had no choice because of its duty to avoid in-breeding.

Marius was killed by a bolt gun, not a lethal injection, which would contaminate the meat.

A post-mortem examination was broadcast live on the internet.

A crowd of visitors, including children, watched as the carcass was skinned, cut up and fed to the lions.

A spokesman for the zoo told the Associated Press the event allowed parents to decide whether their children should watch.

“I’m actually proud because I think we have given children a huge understanding of the anatomy of a giraffe that they wouldn’t have had from watching a giraffe in a photo,” Stenbaek Bro told AP.

The zoo’s scientific director, Bengt Holst, told the BBC he had received death threats but would not alter his style of animal management.

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