Author Topic: Guardian: Second giraffe named Marius at risk of being put down in Denmark  (Read 1566 times)

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Guardian: Second giraffe named Marius at risk of being put down in Denmark


Copenhagen zoo's giraffe named Marius, before he was killed, dissected and eaten by lions. Photograph: Scanpix Denmark/Reuters
If you are a giraffe and your name is Marius, now might be a good time to leave Denmark.

Days after the euthanasia of a healthy young giraffe at Copenhagen zoo sparked controversy around the world, a second Danish zoo has announced that it is considering a similar fate for another giraffe – also named Marius.

Jyllands Park zoo, in western Denmark, currently has two male giraffes, but has been approved to participate in the European breeding programme. If zookeepers manage to acquire a female giraffe, seven-year-old Marius will have to make way.

Like his namesake in Copenhagen, the giraffe is considered unsuitable for breeding, and the zoo said there was a high risk that Marius would have to be put down as it would be difficult to find him a new home.

Janni Løjtved Poulsen, zookeeper at Jyllands Park, said it was not clear when the park would acquire a female giraffe and that the decision on Marius's future would be taken by the breeding programme co-ordinator.

"If we are told we have to euthanise [Marius] we would of course do that," said Poulsen.

She said the park managers would not to be influenced by the wave of protests that followed the killing of 18-month-old Marius at Copenhagen zoo.
More than 27,000 people around the world signed a petition to save the Copenhagen giraffe, and zoo officials said they had received death threats after the animal was put down, dissected in front of a large crowd and fed to lions.

"It doesn't affect us in any way. We are completely behind Copenhagen and would have done the same," said Poulsen.
Jyllands Park zoo has not decided whether they would also carry out a public dissection.

Poulsen said she had been surprised to discover there was a second giraffe named Marius in Denmark. The Jyllands Park giraffe had been named after a former vet at the zoo, she said. "We thought it was amusing that there was another Marius among the giraffes when there aren't that many giraffes in Denmark overall."

Copenhagen zoo's scientific director, Bengt Holst, said their animals were not given names in order to avoid any personification.

"The zoo keepers sometimes call the animals names, and then our guests have heard the name Marius, and that has then become the individual Marius," Holst told Denmark's Radio. "But in no way is it an official name it has been given."