The Water Cooler – The Killing of a Healthy Baby Giraffe at a Zoo

February 12, 2014 12:00 pm · 67 comments

Watch the story above, and tell us, do you think the Copenhagen Zoo was right to kill the baby giraffe?

WARNING: The story contains graphic images

If you’d rather read the story, please click ON THIS LINK.

Concordejet February 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

very terrifying story such an animal abuser. That zoo should get shut down immdiately

VikingPrincess February 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Couldn’t watch and barely could read. Pretty bad story. I’m sure someone would have taken him.

Wait and see what the WWF has to say. Sick if you ask me

Enfield303 February 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM

That’s just wrong. There is no reason not to send him to another zoo. I’m sure someone else would have taken him.

juan doe February 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

thats unnatural. i cant understand why they didn’t sell it to that private party who offered to buy it. but on the other hand feeding it to the lions although unnatural , to me makes it okay . thats my two cents.

Raider4Life February 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

This Zoo and all of its officials make me sick. A baby? Really? I’m sure there were other options.

Hump Day February 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM

As an animal lover, I prefer not to watch videos of animal abuse. I turn the channel with tears in my eyes when animal abuse commercials appear on TV.

I have tears in my eyes now. This is so wrong. This makes me sick.

Half n' Half February 12, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Just by looking at the headlines, it seems horrible that any zoo would put down such a young (not a baby- two years old), healthy animal.

But in the long run it makes sense. This giraffe is (or was) part of a breeding program. Once he was deemed unsuitable, it makes sense to kick him off the team because inbreeding should not be encouraged, especially in closed environments, such as zoos. It increases the chance of spreading hereditary diseases which is ultimately what breeding programs aim to discourage. In addition, I think people need to rethink the possibility of moving him to a different zoo. A giraffe is a giraffe. Not a small dog that you can place in a crate and ship half way around the country. Giraffes are not accustomed to being shipped and therefore the journey could add unwanted stress to the animal that could then cause him to become mentally and physically sick. (Which would then add veterinarian bills on top of shipping fees which would just be a financial burden on the zoo.)

Yes the zoo could have sold to a private investor, but I think that would cause more public scrutiny. Look at the guy who snagged the rights to shoot a rhino and look where that got him. I do believe that the zoo should have made this affair a lot more private.

I guess the only party who truly won were the lions. Hello they get to eat something that is from their natural eating niche!

JET February 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM

I hadn’t heard of this story until I read it here, and I am totally disgusted. This was a HEALTHY baby (18 months old) giraffe and they “had to” slaughter him to avoid inbreeding…..whaaat?

Absolutely terrible and it is wrong, regardless of what anyone says.

RIP poor Marius…..

Tit for Tat February 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Whoever kill the baby giraffe? Let their life be utter hell.

JET February 12, 2014 at 12:56 PM

….and also what kind of parents would allow their child (let alone themselves) watch this whole thing? Educational? No. Unbelievable.

Incognito February 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Sorry, but could not bring myself to watch just hearing what the subject matter was.

Along this line, I attempted to watch a program the other night called “Blackfish” – with regard to Orca whales who are kept in captivity at SeaWorld and such places to perform for entertainment shows. I was horrified. Left the room sobbing because it made me ashamed of what human beings are capable of. Not to mention the fact people buy tickets to watch the whales at these places such as SeaWorld for entertainment.

AH February 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

That is a good question but I think this website answered it:

Anon February 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

I too was very appalled upon first hearing about this and Half n Half makes some good points at least to me. However I don’t understand why this couldn’t be done in private or after hours, that’s the problem I have with the incident.

concerned February 12, 2014 at 1:25 PM

There was a video on MSN yesterday with the head zoo keeper explaining why they did it. It makes a lot of sense as to why they did it to keep the gene pool strong for the future of the giraffes. As hard as all of you like to make it out In the real world of nature wild life takes care of this. And as your eating your hamburgers, Steaks ,Chicken and fish remember where it comes from.

Reality says... February 12, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Who let’s their kids watch this? I would check the parents who are there for inbreeding.

RunnerDope February 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Couldn’t they just fix him?

Rick February 12, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Sorry to inform everybody but Europe, generally speaking, is 20 years ahead of the United States as far as ethics are concerned.

valiii February 12, 2014 at 3:05 PM

This was horrible. At least 2 zoos offered to take him. His genes were only unwanted for the Danish zoo; other zoos had different families of giraffes to mix with. Poor Marius! I’ll never forget this cute babe!

Rob February 12, 2014 at 3:07 PM

I find it incredible that people are so shocked and outraged over a giraffe that was killed with a clean shot to the head have no problem buying eggs, chickens, pork, beef, etc… that come from animals kept under the most insanely cruel conditions, some of which are killed by literally slicing their throats open and yet they are not only silent for those animals they actually purchase the remains of the animals and help support the treatment with their money…

Anon February 12, 2014 at 3:46 PM

In Breeding? Was he from Arkansas?

@Rob February 12, 2014 at 3:46 PM


Stop, you’re making me hungry.

KAD February 12, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I am not going to read the story because I do not care what the reason. There is no excusing this.

Free Connie Dobbs

@ ROB February 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Very excellent point. I’m sitting here wishing I had a rebuttle for you, but I can’t.

I was sickened to read this story, but the truth is, I’m having chicken for dinner.

I guess it’s because some people see chicken, beef etc as a food source and Giraffes are cute and not dinner.

mutts February 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Lol, I’m sure it was Arkansas.
It’s even sicker that people watched.

Dorothy February 12, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Inbreeding? Not all zoos have breeding programs and some don’t have a giraffe. It could have been sterilized which would solve the breeding problem. Surely there must have been a home for it somewhere with people willing to foot the bill for transport and upkeep. There are places for worn out circus animals including big cats why not for unsuccessful breeding animals.

digusting February 12, 2014 at 4:31 PM

This was truly disgusting and so unnecessary. I’m so upset by this and angered. I hate the human race; arrogant a-holes who think they have the right to take another life for no good reason just because this poor animal can’t speak up or defend itself.

Richardsfamily February 12, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Not all cultures are shielded so much as we are in the U.S. It sucks this had to happen but you are talking about Animal Scientist from Denmark not some third world country. It’s very hard to watch but inbreading in the long run could devistate any breeding program.

anon February 12, 2014 at 4:40 PM

We saw an interview on BBC with the gameskeeper who bragged about killing the giraffe. He said that he offered the giraffe a piece of rye bread and then when it bent his head down to take it he shot it with a rifle. 🙁 My husband and I broke down and sobbed as we heard his tell the story. How in the world can humans be so heartless and cruel? Especially in the capacity of caretaker to such a gorgeous and trusting-of-humans giraffe? God change their hearts, please.

JP February 12, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Was it wrong? I don’t know. As far as I know the kids that saw this were more curious than traumatized, it’s called the circle of life – probably could have been done a bit differently.
What’s the fuss? Children are killed every day by the millions, thanks to the evil of abortion – I don’t see many people crying over that – God help us!

Sinn Feiner February 12, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I was in Denmark twice last year just a couple months ago as of recent. The Danish people are some of the nicest folks I’ve come across in Europe! I have quite a few friends from Copenhagen who are on my facebook and they’re even complaining about this.

Joe February 12, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Of course all of you sad people don’t eat any animal products at all. As mentioned before, factory farming in this country is a thousand times crueler to the animal. Maybe it would have been better to have the hungry lions tear the giraffe to pieces, just like what happens in the wilds of Africa EVERY DAY! Enjoy your beef, chicken and pork you hypocrites.

Anon February 12, 2014 at 7:59 PM

#29, Here’s America’s Finest – To Serve and Protect
Where do these Police get their training? You step out of your car and Shoot?

anon February 12, 2014 at 9:00 PM

My grandparents saved abandoned or injured animals all of their lives together. Both of them were handicapped – one at birth and the other in WWI and worked hard at their businesses and property until they passed. Whether in times of financial success or hardship they never looked the other way when they encountered an animal or human in trouble. They took in starving horses and sick cows, orphaned calves, sick puppies left too die and kittens tied in bags and thrown out like garbage and countless unwanted children and adults. Hundreds of letters of thank yous from the humans tell the story better than I can. I never heard an unkind or angry word fro¤ either of them about or to another. There is always someone with a loving heart out there ready to take on the cost and responsibility of one who needs help. The people who killed the giraffe were monsters and probably live in unending cycles of hate and anger. There is a better way.

oldschool February 12, 2014 at 9:27 PM


Hey Joe,

Pork You!

Anonymous February 12, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I don’t like giraffes and I don’t care.

tredogandi February 12, 2014 at 10:38 PM

I like to leave scientific decisions up to scientists, doctors, and zoologists. You know…people who actually know what they are talking about. I don’t endorse the senseless killing of animals, but this doesn’t seem to be anything of the sort. Actually, I would have like to have seen the dissection. I’m sure I could have learned something from it. The way I see it, those (including the kids) that got to be part of this learning experience are more educated because of it.

Dr. Jellyfinger® February 12, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Stop making jokes! That’s the same reason they used to kill my uncle Woody.

You know they tried to do the same thing at a Polish zoo too. They had a rope tried to hang the giraffe but they couldn’t find a tree tall enough to do it. Now they have a bunch of cross eyed 3 legged giraffes running around.

Bill Clinton February 12, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Castration, or offer me rye bread & blow my brains out? Hmmm…. don’t rush me I’m thinking……..

Eddy Deezen February 12, 2014 at 11:21 PM

@ Half & Half #8 – you have a good point about moving giraffes Did you see what happened in that “Hangover” movie?

Wow February 12, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Why kill an innocent and healthy baby animal. Why not just give it to another zoo. Makes me so mad.

Wow February 12, 2014 at 11:38 PM

@ 12 I too was upset over blackfish. I will probably never go to sea world again. It is so sad tht humans can do stuff like this to other living things, I have herd about this other movie called the cove and don’t think I can bring myself to watch it, considering it is about dolphin hunting. Just too sad.

Louisa February 13, 2014 at 12:19 AM

Backfish , it loves to eat.

Silva February 13, 2014 at 6:47 AM

It is appalling. I understood that they don’t want inbreeding, and that would have been a concern wherever the little guy might’ve been sent, so NEUTER him !!! And yes, many Danish people are upset too, some calling for a boycott of the zoo. Barbaric !!!

Jojo Potato February 13, 2014 at 6:51 AM

There was an article in the Economist recently about the thriving agricultural industry in Denmark. This includes raising pigs and the modern computerized slaughter houses to process the meat. It is apparently quite normal for school children to visit on field trips and see the whole process. They are not squeamish about it at all so I suppose seeing a giraffe butchered would be no big deal. Since Americans think meat comes from the grocery I guess they will not be so accustomed to the very normal process of killing an animal.

ReallyDisgusting February 13, 2014 at 7:09 AM

I read this story a few days ago and was thoroughly disgusted. They had received a few offers from other zoos to take this beautfiul young giraffe and a private collector that offered to take him. There was no reason for this to happen. The people who are charged with the well being of these animals obviously cannot be trusted to do so. This zoo should be shut down immediately. When a zoo only views its occupants as objects or has no heart for them, they should be closed. Hopefully, the SF zoo has improved after starving that poor tiger who was put down after attacking those idiot young men who were teasing her.

I was also very disturbed by Blackfish. I stopped going to animal performances years ago. I just felt that making wild animals (whales, dolphins, seals, bears, elephants, lions, tigers, leopards, etc.) perform for human entertainment was very undignified and degrading. I had also heard about the abuse animals suffer at the hands of cruel humans and couldn’t imagine a huge whale being happy in captivity. I was so happy that someone had the balls to make a documentary like Blackfish which tells the truth about the cruelty and mental trauma these magnificent creatures face at the hands of humans. Being human is rather embarrassing. I wish we would treat our fellow creatures and our planet with respect and dignity.

The Mamba February 13, 2014 at 7:26 AM

This story was pretty upsetting for me to read. If the zoo was so concerned about inbreeding or caring for the giraffe, I’m sure they could have found a good home for him. They deserve all of the flack they are catching for this.

hope February 13, 2014 at 7:56 AM

How many of you complaining are pro choice? Ya.. think about it.

Anonymous February 13, 2014 at 7:58 AM

I Iike the guy that said Europe is 20 years ahead of us.There is always an American that worships Eurotrash.

ReallyDisgusting February 13, 2014 at 8:05 AM

There is another giraffe at another Copenhagen zoo they are planning to kill. See the petition here and sign it to help stop this from happening again:

I really wonder what is wrong with these people. I hope we can help to stop this senselessness.

Silva February 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM

What sort of zookeeper Plans an execution of an animal to feed to other captice animals?
Blackfish is not a fun movie, but it’s well worth seeing. I’m also glad it got made.

Rick February 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Who said I was worshipping? How do you breathe with your head up your ass?

Pyrrhus February 13, 2014 at 9:18 AM

I saw an interview with a representative from the zoo and after listening to him I do not have a problem with the way the zoo handled it. He explained the entire breeding program that is throughout Europe. The zoo’s willing to take in the giraffe were also part of the breeding program and would have the same issues as this zoo. Those zoos would be irresponsible for even taking in the animal as zoo space and resources are limited. Why take up a spot for an inferior breeding animal?

The biggest point he brings up, what is the difference between breeding cows and breeding giraffe’s? You can’t save the cow because it isn’t as cute as the giraffe?

Also, they did not kill the giraffe in front of children, they dissected the giraffe for medical purposes and allowed children to watch. If the parents had an issue with it they shouldn’t have allowed their children to be there. In school, you dissect toads, rats, and other animals. They presented the dissection in a scientific manner and disposed of the remains to feed the lions. Here’s a shocker, lions eat giraffes in the wild!

I know, the argument is always going to be that the giraffe shouldn’t be killed because it was cute. I think we’re so out of touch with nature as a society. That meat you buy in the grocery market comes from animals that lived much worse lives and were killed more inhumanely than that giraffe.

@hope February 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

1) You are making a comparison between two completely different subjects, dear.

1) Keep your nose out of MY BUSINESS.

Charity February 13, 2014 at 11:04 AM

hope @ 48 – You make a DEVASTATING point.

Let’s just say that the zookeepers were just exercising their “right to choose” and it’s all good – right folks?

Anonymous February 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Good point Hope, same people that get all teary about animals could care less about killing the unborn.

Jojo Potato February 13, 2014 at 11:42 AM

This discussion is very interesting. Is the giraffe worth more because it’s cute? Doesn’t the giraffe get eaten in the wild and provide food for lions etc? I think that’s where the zookeeper is coming from, he understands what nature is all about. It ain’t Disney folks! Unlike in the movies warthogs are smelly and vicious and hyenas are worse. But they have their niche. Zoos can have different goals, in this case breeding giraffes, please let them do their job.

anon February 13, 2014 at 11:47 AM

The arguments that death of giraffes occur in the wild and that killing and butchering of meat as food product occurs in our society are specious arguments. The giraffe that was murdered was not in the wild nor was it in a commercial animal pen – it was in a zoo where contemporary society cares for the animals in its possession not only to protect and preserve species from extinction but also to allow for their interaction with humans for human enrichment as museums of living things. The murder of this darling and oh-so-trusting-of-humans giraffe was a violation, in a most barbarous way, of a zoo’s ethical obligation to respect and care for the life entrusted to it.

Pyrrhus February 13, 2014 at 1:49 PM

First off, it isn’t murder. It’s called culling. If you don’t think zoos cull their stock then you have your head in the sand. The only reason this has received any attention is because it was a cute animal and it was dissected in front of people and then fed to lions.

You talk about preserving the species from extinction, yet you want to allow inbreeding to occur? So what is the option? Segregate and cage the animal? This will cause isolation and be detrimental to the health of the animal. Perform a vasectomy on the animal? The animal will have mental and health issues as well not to mention the animal is now taking up resources and space that could be used for good breeding stock.

Here’s a time article on the entire issue:

Enjoyment for others is only part of the reason legitimate zoos exists. The more important part is the research and preservation of the animals they keep. Preserving a species includes a breeding program and eliminating inferior or individuals that could cause genetic problems.

@59 February 13, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Gee, all of my MANY cats, dogs, & a horse have been spayed & neutered, oh yeah, a rabbit even. I don’t recall that any of them were either in poor health or mal adjusted.

JRConcord February 13, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I wonder what giraffe tastes like?

Atticus Thraxx February 13, 2014 at 7:17 PM

“I don’t like giraffes and I don’t care.”
Hands down, my favorite sentence this week.

Brandon Belt February 13, 2014 at 8:23 PM


anon February 13, 2014 at 10:40 PM

@ 59 – Hmmm. That is the vas defrens between us. So, all of the men that have had vasectomies are suffering with, in your words, “mental and health issues as well not to mention the animal is now taking up resources and space that could be used for good breeding stock.” I’ll have to break it to my husband.

anon February 13, 2014 at 11:12 PM

Hope, Charity and Anonymous. You clearly don’t read and remember the Word of God.

Genesis 1:29, 30. 29″And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”

Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

Isaiah 65:25 “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.”

The God who caused those words to be written loved the animals and expected His children to love them, too. And not eat them.

By-the-way, how very self-righteous and hateful of you to so smugly claim that gentle animal lovers are pro-choice and imply must not be Christian. Do you love others so they know you act/speak in His name? If more would love one another rather than self-righteously pass judgement on one another maybe more would listen and be persuaded. It is Good News – not smug news.

Pyrrhus February 14, 2014 at 8:49 AM

@Anon, Is your husband an animal or a human being? Are you an expert in animal behavior and physiology? If not, your opinion doesn’t matter, I’ll trust what the experts say that have spent their life’s work studying these animals. If you are going to make claims back them up with facts. So far, all you’ve done is make comments based on how you feel.

@59 same thing goes for you. Your observations with DOMESTICATED animals has no bearing one what scientific research shows. Here’s a quote from the article I linked,

“Yet zoo experts maintain that euthanasia — even of a healthy animal — is frequently the most responsible course. Neutering and contraception prevent the animal from performing behaviors that are critical to its sense of well-being — namely reproduction and parenting. And even separating males and females for a length of time can have unpredictable outcomes: rhinos who have been prevented from mating for a few years have not been able to reproduce once the males and females were reunited.”

You all need to be less emotional about a cute animal and think about the long term survivability of it’s species.

anon February 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM


You prove so clearly that humans are animals.

If you really did understand science you would know that Homo sapiens sapiens belong to Regnum Animale within the Domain Eukarya.

Pyrrhus February 14, 2014 at 1:34 PM

@Anon, Your Personal attack still does not disprove any of my points. You have not identified any articles or studies that disprove what zoo’s are claiming about their captive animals. You have not showed that you are an expert in any way in animal behavior or physiology. Sorry, but your point of view is based on emotional response rather than facts.

I can play the emotional game too, I want my children and future generations to enjoy these beautiful creatures as well as other endangered animals. I thank the zoos and research centers for their tireless efforts in establishing breeding programs to keep future generations healthy.

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