RIP Marius – Young Giraffe Killed By Zoo
  • 10
  • Feb

RIP Marius – Young Giraffe Killed by Zoo

Yesterday, Marius, an 18-month-old giraffe, was killed by the Copenhagen Zoo and fed to lions, as he was considered useless for breeding.

This is no surprise. Zoos, including those in Britain, will often breed animals in captivity and create babies in an effort to keep drawing in paying visitors – yet often, there’s nowhere to put the offspring as they grow, and they are destroyed.

Wildlife documentaries have opened people’s eyes to the fact that a zoo is just an animal prison. The death of Marius should be a wake-up call for anyone who still harbours the illusion that zoos serve any purpose beyond incarcerating intelligent animals for profit.

Giraffes rarely die of old age in captivity, and had Marius not been killed today, he would have lived out his short life as a living exhibit, stranded in a cold climate, thousands of miles away from his true home.

Marius Giraffe

Breeding programmes serve no true conservation purpose because giraffes and other animals born in zoos are rarely, if ever, returned to their natural habitats. They are treated as baby-makers and visitor attractions in a zoo’s “swap-and-shop” programme, which gives the public a false sense that something meaningful has happened.

The education argument doesn’t cut it, either. Seeing bored, depressed and often mad animals pacing, swaying or circling constantly teaches children nothing about real animal behaviour – we certainly wouldn’t take our children to prison in order to teach them about human behaviour. They can learn far more valuable and inspiring lessons by watching nature documentaries that show wild animals where they belong, going on virtual field trips or watching IMAX movies.

PETA urges everyone who genuinely cares about giraffes and all the other individuals serving life sentences in zoos to avoid patronising such “attractions” and instead donate to campaigns that actually protect animals in their native habitats.


Images: “Marius the giraffe” by Didde Elnif / CC BY-NC 2.0

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  1. avatar Dhananjaya says:

    I can’t forget or forgive for this. This is a shameful act for the mankind.

    • avatar night magic says:

      i am heartbroken over this !! to and they plan to kill another young giraffe please go to care .org to find the petitions to sign and voice your opinion

    • avatar Lottie Dvorak says:

      I can’t get this horrible image out of my mind. How dispensable zoos seem to think animals are. They each deserve our protection…not exploitation. Just because this beautiful baby giraffe wasn’t considered “worthy” of life, the zoo “decided” to end its life. I am stunned and so very saddened. Man CAN be the cruelest animal.

  2. avatar Hannah says:

    This is what has kept many wonderful animal species alive though. Many animals would be extinct without zoos.

    • avatar Kel says:

      Quick question, why are so many species becoming extinct! Quick answer, humanity!

    • avatar Roberto says:

      Please, share some examples. It must be an easy task.

      Also, explain how unnecessary suffering can be a reasonable way to protect anyone.

      If certain animals must be saved they should be taken care of in sanctuaries, not zoos.

    • avatar friendbear says:

      You call that living? Zoos should be banned outright. There are many conservation programs that can do that.

    • avatar Els De Kerf says:

      Do you think the animals are happy because zoos ‘preserve the species’, if this is the kind of life they have to live, and these are the kind of things that people do to them ??

    • avatar Elaine says:

      Killing a healthy young giraffe is not what keeps species alive.
      It is a travesty, and the zoo is teaching kids to treat animals as objects, to be thrown away.

    • avatar Roxanna says:

      All animal kind would be alive and not in extinction
      if we don’t tamper with them. Zoos as our fellows in
      PETA calls them are only PRISONS. Your believe is
      a total ignorance toward the reality of all animals in
      our planet. Please get updated and help us help them.

  3. I never visit zoos or circuses and I think people should be educated as to the real reasons for these which is money!!!!

  4. avatar Peter Deelen says:

    A Zoo is not a slaughterhouse because there happen also such terrible murders!!!!!!!

  5. avatar michael jones says:

    fucking horrid heartless people!!!!!I hate the human race all we have done since we have been here is fuck up the planet and everything on and for that, a little more money in our pocket?. cant wait for a higher species to come and wipe us out :)

    • avatar Yvette Herbst says:

      I agree! Humans are monsters and do not deserve anything. Everything are about money and thats a shame for using and killing defenceless animals.

    • avatar Alicia says:

      I agree. There are so many heartless, inhumane and disgusting people (I won’t even call them human) out there. And you wonder why kids today have no respect for adults…look at the role models! RIP Marius. This country will be just like Russia, Copenhagen and all the others that condon this behavior.

    • avatar Yvette Clay says:

      I couldn’t have put it better myself, mankind is the biggest predator on this planet, killing animals, ruining habitats, experimenting on animals, and basically killing this beautiful Earth. When I watch documentaries on tv about animals and our planet it makes me cry to think what we are doing to it and one day there will be no animals left on this planet and God help us then.

    • Right there with you michael jones. I could not agree more! Man is a heinous, vile species!

    • avatar Rocco says:

      I agree these great animals animals are being abused by these fucken people who have no heart.

    • avatar Julie says:

      I reiterate these same words all the time Michael. The human race is the worst species ever to be born into this world. All we do is abuse, kill and destroy no matter what the species and all for the same reason over and over – Power and Wealth. It makes me sick and I too believe the human race should be annihilated which in the end will automatically happen because the planet cannot survive what we are doing to it. Whatever we do to others we are doing to ourselves.

  6. avatar maureen gilbert says:

    I am disgusted, why breed them.if they are not to be released or used for breeding anyway, this isnt in any way conservation, its murder.zoos that do this should be banned from any further breeding or lose their zoo licence.

    • avatar Kel says:

      I thought the same and then realized that they breed them because cute, little baby animals draw a crowd! It is all about the almighty dollar!

  7. avatar danna says:

    i will never forget and i am hurt to my core. i will never visit another zoo again.

  8. avatar romi&sash says:

    stupid people! can’t believe :((((( R.I.P. little Marius

  9. avatar Eddi Gregg says:

    It is a shameful, heartless act. Zoos are horrible places for animals and I would only wish they didn’t exist and animals were allowed to live in peace in their natural habitat. I wish that everyone would take a stand about these issues, become more informed and take positive action so that animals, whether still held captive in zoos or out in the wild are protected and their habitat secure.

  10. avatar sandra buchberger says:

    stop killing animals !!! let them live in their native habitats !!!!!

    S T O P S T O P

    • avatar barbara says:

      I absolutely agree with you…..but we need to stop destroying their natural habitat…many of these animals have little or no home to go to.

  11. avatar Emma James says:

    Shocking, just shocking.

  12. avatar Shirley Cofresi says:

    What the hell is a “surplus” animal? What is wrong with people! How about we get rid of all those destroying animals anywhere for profit and call it ‘collateral damage’!

    Animals should never be captured and displayed anywhere!

  13. avatar Maz Roberts says:

    Close all zoos world wide, put all the animals in to protected conservation areas to live free as nature intended. Why do so many humans want to destroy everything that is beautiful?

  14. avatar Sergey says:

    This zoo has lost the right to be called a zoo!! These people should not be allowed to approach the animal. Anger is no limit! Denmark – a country of murderers

    • avatar Cathy says:

      The majority of Danes were very upset with this, so don’t start pointing fingers at the entire country. That’s not fair. I am a Dane and I am very much against what they did. So don’t you dare call me a murderer.

  15. avatar Koen says:

    I would love to do the same to the people who decide to do this en the people who actually did it. I hope you’re in a better place now Marius! R.I.P.

  16. avatar Joanne says:

    What can be done to prevent other animals being killed like this. This is totally unacceptable behavior.

  17. avatar J.B. says:

    I’ve read PETAs article, and it reeks of dis-information.

    The giraffes in the CPH zoo do not exhibit the stress behavior mentioned in the article, their living arrangements are a fine example of zoo keeping, and although they live in a cold environment, they obviously thrive, since they often do mate and produce young.

    PETA is using the cute factor to bang their own drum, perhaps to get more visitors to their page, and donations. Instead of worrying about the fate of one animal in an exemplary zoo, why don’t they comment on the thousands of danish production swine that spend their life in miserable conditions, having tails and testicles cut off without any form of painkiller.

    The giraffes are very likable, and the educational value in this zoo is high. Visiting this zoo I have seen the giraffes mate, and have had the animal come so close that we pulled away from its large curious head. This cannot be compared to seeing a tv program.

    • avatar raelene says:

      i agree that this zoo appears to have ample room for the giraffes. but thats the only agreement i have with what you wrote. I believe Peta does inform people of the terrible conditions Swines go through as you describe. in fact I’ve learned it all from them… the fact that they wrote this about the giraffe is just another article about how man is cruel to animals because “they can” and how Peta urges us to stop catering to and putting money to zoos, who really don’t care as much about the imprisoned animals as they do about profits and attracting visitors. Peta spends plenty of time writing about alligators, swines, and other “non loved” animals so give them more credit for that.

      furthermore, just because an animal mates in a zoo does not mean it is living an “un-miserable” life. its in their instinct to mate. look at Orcas imprisoned in swimming pools their entire lives. they still mate, what little enjoyment they get out of life comes from mating i suppose. but they end up dying early of an unnatural cause. the same goes with Giraffes, they rarely live out a full life in a zoo.

    • avatar Ray says:

      Are you then saying that you’re comfortable with how that poor giraffe was murdered?

    • avatar Tama Flynn says:

      My confusion about this incident is why Marius just wasn’t neutered if the reason for his murder was just to stop his contribution to the gene pool. There was no reason for them to take his life.The cruelty exhibited here is cause for someone to be relieved of their job. AND children absolutely DO NOT require an autopsy viewing to learn about real life. That just added salt to the wound of stupidity.

    • avatar Janet Rico says:

      Wake up J.B. It is not acceptable to keep animals confined so you can go see them in person. By a freaking airline ticket and go see them where they belong. In Africa you will learn how animals really are when living free. You are extraordinarily selfish. Unfortunately, you are not alone. Money from the self absorbed keep zoos and circuses operating worldwide. Entertainment over compassion. And yes, the pork industry is evil and plenty of people speak up about it. You apparently do not visit the websites of organizations that are trying to stop factory farming. CPH Zoo is behaving like a puppy mill. They keep the breeders and destroy those that cannot produce (money).

    • avatar friendbear says:

      Then you WONT mind if we take you from your family lock you in a cage thousands of miles away from them and never let you out, for disgusting types like you to leer at, until you become surplus to requirement? Which imo you already appear to be?

    • avatar Jacob Alexander says:

      They could have donated little Marius to any other zoo in the world instead of killing and obtaining public wrath on them.

    • avatar A.S. says:

      Seconding this. It seems so pathetic that everybody – including meat-eaters – is infuriated by a humane killing of ONE giraffe. It’s not like the body wasn’t put to good use what with using it for feeding lions. Also, lions are fed relatively often – is it equally horrible when they’re fed with cow or pork – or what about veal or lamb?

      Goddammit PETA, I want to love you but why can’t you be a little more reasonable?

      Great point about the Danish meat industry… Sad thing is that Denmark is doing relatively well when it comes to animal welfare compared to other countries. The meat industry is what should be making people angry! But not everyone is ready to become vegantarian…

    • avatar Julie says:

      I’ve read YOUR article and it reeks of IGNORANCE. You obviously have no more interest in animal welfare than I do in watching giraffe’s mate!

    • avatar Liz says:

      You don’t normally take your kids to the zoo to watch animals have their guts ripped out. These people are sick. I thought the Danes had moved on since the Vikings.

  18. avatar Mishti Rao says:

    I commit and pledge that I will never in my life visit a zoo & will never let my future generations to do so….
    And showing nature documentaries to kids is really a good idea witch I will definitely follow..

  19. avatar Dayna Dye says:

    How can we contact this zoo?

  20. avatar Karen Wescott says:

    Eddi Gregg, I couldn’t have said it any better myself!!!!

  21. avatar NATHALIE says:


  22. avatar Katy says:

    Why? This makes no sense.

  23. avatar Olivia says:

    I want this zoo closed!!!! Is there anything I can do to achieve this?????????

  24. avatar L Nicoll says:

    I am really saddened by this poor animal being treated this way when he could have been spared. Why did he have to die like that? It seemed cold and callous. How can you care for an imal then put a gun to its head and shoot it. Inhuman behaviour.

  25. avatar Alice says:

    Zoos like this make me sick! The only 2 Zoos we ever go to we always check everything the animals have. Every enclosure is amazing and an inside heating system for animals used to warm climates. To think there are zoos who would kill a healthy animal is barbaric! Eurgh. What is humanity anymore?:(

  26. avatar Debbie says:

    This is plain and simple murder. Need to close down this zoo. You do not treat animals especially a zoo to do such murderous acts.

  27. avatar Amber says:

    My heart is broken. I can’t believe this could happen!

  28. avatar chris says:

    Absolutely disgraceful and disgusting, those responsible should be ashamed of themselves!

  29. avatar Cathy Sutter says:

    I am thoroughly disgusted with the human race. They are nothing more than savages as far as I’m concerned. Killing this poor, innocent giraffe sickened me. “Mankind” is an oxymoron.

  30. avatar shelley demelo says:

    When I heard this it was horrifying that this could happen and people can be so cruel. Never will I go to a zoo again and will spread the word as well

  31. avatar raelene says:

    no one has written or mentioned about the response of its mother. who surely saw what happened and is missing its offspring. horrible thing to do to a mother. any mother.

  32. This is wrong killing a baby giraffe and this poucher wonders why his getting death threats. They should feed that asshole to the lions!!! Im so mad and discusted at this Denmark zoo..

  33. avatar VICKY says:

    This entire incident of killing this baby giraffe is horrific. Marius was slaughtered, skinned and chopped up in pieces, in front of children and adults, who stood there and watched. There is someting seriously wrong with a parent who lets their child watch such a horrifc act. This sweet, gentle young giraffe didn’t deserve such a barbaric death. Shame on Copenhagen Zoo! Your are not promoting conservation, but rather extermination!!!

  34. avatar shirley kovar says:

    do you people have a heart? you should close your zoo forever. i cound’t believe this when i heard about this horrible incident. we don’t live in the dark ages. a big shame on you.

  35. avatar juliabarko says:

    They are killers.

  36. avatar Diana says:

    How disgusting that this poor animal died such a horrific death and the zoo put on a show for patrons and their children. Those that permitted this should be criminally prosecuted.

  37. avatar Art says:

    Murdering this animal is a proof of how sick and disturbed humans can be. This Zoo and all zoos’ in the world should be shut down. Animals should not be kept in captivity for us humans to go and see as if we would go sight seeing. They belong to their natural habitat and people need to live them alone. I am sick of people and how they treat animals. I don’t understand how people have claimed the right to dominate upon every other animal and deside on their fates. Things have gotten out of hand, everyday another murder, another act of brutality when is this going to stop?

  38. avatar Ray says:

    One of our 623Life members posted this blog on our website which addresses the tragedy at the Copenhagen Zoo. We hope that no more giraffes or for that matter, no other animals are made to suffer that way. Here’s the link to it:

  39. avatar Ashleigh says:

    This just makes me sick. I feel so terrible for this poor giraffe that did nothing to be killed for. Humans are disgusting.

  40. avatar Shelby Dowdell says:

    So absolutely disgusting. Never will I go to any zoo.

  41. avatar Gessi says:

    Stop the violence, please for God save

  42. avatar didi magnin says:

    Marius! Poor baby, and the Copenhagen just euthanised him? Because he didn’t have the right genes, which suited Copenhagen Zoo? SHAME ON YOU

  43. avatar Christina says:

    Shame on all of you who stand by and come to work each day and ‘feel
    nothing’ for you did… and will continue to do. Every animal has the right to
    be there.. and because you feel this precious guy wasn’t good enough to breed..makes you worse then an animal. Your only concern to breed is.. so the zoo can continue to make profits.

  44. avatar rachel says:

    Why does peta have an issue with this when their shelters euthanize animals? Atleast the remains were used as well in this case.
    Not that I agree with what happened, I think it’s a disgrace to humankind – but it makes peta sound hypocritical & unreliable in their stances.

  45. avatar Genevieve Davis says:

    This zoo makes all zoos look bad, and they should be reprimanded for their actions. But not all zoos are bad, The Australia Zoo in Brisbane takes in injured wild life and helps them live out a happy life while helping to show people the injustices of poaching and illegal animal smuggling. Most of their animals are animals that could not survive in the wild and would be otherwise euthanized by authorities. A LOT of zoos are starting to do this same thing, and are placing more focus on the conservation of wild animals and are not “prisons”. I think that there needs to be set regulations that they must keep to benefit the animals in their care but I know for a fact that 90% of zoos aren’t killing animals and aren’t hurting them. Zoos are very important for animal conservation, with out attending zoos as children many of the people who love animals and care about conservation wouldn’t care at all. Its at a zoo that I developed my deep love of animals, and as a zoo keeper in training myself I VOW TO UPHOLD THE HIGHEST STANDARDS FOR ANIMAL WELLBEING AND I WILL WORK HARD TO INSPIRE FELLOW HUMANS TO TAKE ANIMALS IN TO THEIR HEARTS AND FIGHT FOR THEIR SURVIVAL IN THE WILD

  46. avatar Olivia says:

    I do hope this will be sanctioned… they cannot get away with this, this is unacceptable.

  47. avatar Renee says:

    This is brutality not conservation. This young giraffe could have been sent somewhere where his blood line is not, there is an entire world of zoos out there I do not believe his bloodline is in all of the them enough to be significant. Don’t get me wrong I do understand conservation and sometimes you have to kill to heal but I don’t believe this is one of those times and I certainly think that some drugs could have been given to his mother to abort as opposed to letting him live but only for a year and a half to be slaughter in front of spectators.

  48. avatar Nancy says:

    Shame shame

  49. avatar Sue says:

    I am heartbroken about this baby being killed I will never ever visit another zoo this was pure evil and should have never happen this animal was offered a home in Sweden and in Yorkshire but the director at the zoo would not even consider it shame on him what goes around comes around

  50. avatar Linda Carpenter says:

    I am heartsick over this murderous act that took place at this zoo. I saw this happening live from a video. And it made me so sick I had to leave the room. And the fact that the zoo creep did this entire thing in front of CHILDREN and their parents was cruel, ignorant and insensitive. They should have their zoo privileges taken away from them. SHUT THEM DOWN!

    I would like very much to have the contact information for this monster zoo, so I can tell them what I think of them.

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