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 Eva says:

    Yes, but be careful, what you wish for, dear PETA. I agree, but some of the animals in zoos are protected in wild just because zoos. Not by zoos, but who is carrying of wild population of giraffes for ex.? White men, mostly. Just because they are supported by European population. A lot because zoos. And, most of the people love zoos. Most of people haven’t even heard anything about your trying and you wanna stop it? Don’t be blind. Give people better example. Raise some money and make some reservation, for animals are typical for the country. Show people compromise. Show them, your variation is better. But don’t be wrathful, don’t blame people for “supporting” cruelty by visiting zoos. That’s no way. In the end, you wanna peace, right? Then smile, don’t spit.
    I believe, people would fall in love with the idea, make from zoos reservations with country’s animals. They could be given to the nature then. And people would have to travel for another species, and that’s good. Makes us realize the origin. At the end, we can learn from books and internet this age. All the “zoos”-reservations would be one big association-friends of animals, and would help reach money to poorer reservations (like in Africa or things like that).
    Nothing to do, people are just taking the space and animals have to adapt themselves. We need to take it from the right end. We have no time, need to act at last. We can give animals place to live wild, in version adapted on people.
    And believe, ppl would take it anyway.
    I have an idea: ally with another associations, like Greenpeace(?) and declare a big project: first find a good place (might be difficult, maybe) and reach the money! Then take volunteers and build with them reservation (bit simplified version). Would be OURS, WE would build it and i t would be amazing, not? Could be a lot of fun! And, of course, devise some funny and interesting educational program and… that’s it! Just give the people another choice next to zoos. That’s the first step.

    I know. It will need a LOT, LOT of hard work and trying. I know it’s not the way simple. And it would spend long years, just to do this. But, what else can help? Wanting people to stop going to zoos? Encourage them to act?

    But who else should act than us? I know I’m encouraging now you, but it is because you’re big association. All big assoc. united could make a really big different.

    You know, we wanna long lasting changes, that would stay, even when we won’t be here. And if we only save each individual animal (or group of them) by shouting and pressing… It is like buying a monkey from a black market. You save the monkey, but the market continues…

    We need to change peoples point of view.

    I mean it seriously. SERIOUSLY. Thing about that.

    Thank you a LOT.

    (write me, please)

  2. avatar Dana says:

    How can we get a message to the Danish people regarding their callous, insensitive, downright vicious attitude towards animals? What Danish products can we boycott? Where can we send of blizzard of emails???

    We so need to start getting rid of zoos. “Destination” safari vacations are do-able worldwide, modeled after the African game preserves. It would never be like actually going to Africa. But so many animals could be spared an awful life in a zoo and given the opportunity to roam beyound the confines of a cage.

    J.B. I totally agree with the last part of your second paragraph.

  3. avatar Bessy Van Hoek says:

    This is so awful, this shouldn’t have happened, this people can’t get away with it.

  4. avatar Vasco says:

    What a bad image the Zoo gave to the country…
    I would not expect that from such country.

    Such a shame…

  5. avatar Lisa Scharin says:

    This is abominable!!! How horrific and cruel!!!! What a sweet creature too! SOOOO SAD and heart-broken! So what about Marius’s Mother??? I am sure she is grieving and looking for her boy! How cold and evil! I am truly surprised! I thought people in Copenhagen were “forward-thinking”, kinder people!
    When will we STOP this killing and destroying of GOD’S creatures and creation???!!! I pray every night for it to END!!! I agree, humans are the MOST horrible species on this planet!! YES! How can we shut down ALL zoos!! Time to END circuses too!!

  6. avatar Sherron paasch says:

    this is one of the most disturbing things I have read. What is wrong with these heartless people, we have a zoo that would have loved to have had this magnificent giraffe. shame on you, how can you live with yourselves.

  7. avatar Mike says:

    From a Hsus. Post there is another Zoo in Deathmark
    Looking to do the same thing again.

  8. avatar Rocco says:

    I don’t like Zoo’s as much as I did few years ago and see that these wonderful animals in captivity. They should be in the wild and free.

  9. avatar Denise Carey-Costa says:

    There was no reason for this animal to die. There were other facilities willing to take this baby in.
    The way it was carried out in front of an audience of adults and children is beyond barbaric.

  10. avatar Kim & David Boisvert says:

    This was just uncalled for and plan
    mean!! Why did they kill Marius??
    Because of his blood line?? Really!
    They had other zoo’s that we’re willing
    to take him so WHY was he killed??
    So cruel and callous to do such a horrible
    act in front of Children and there parents.
    And you wonder why our society is so
    screwed up!!! God please help these
    sick individuals!!

  11. avatar donna white says:

    I couldn’t believe it when I had heard what Copenhagen had done to this young giraffe. And in front of the zoo patrons including children? How callous an act and what a nightmare for those poor children who will not be able to get this out of their head. Because of these selfish ignorant adults, these children are going to grow up with disregard for the value of the life of God’s creatures. Shame on you Copenhagen. Remember this. Karma can be a bitch.

  12. All animals have the right to be here I love animals we need to protect them and and finds good homes for them so stop hurting animals

  13. avatar Luanne says:

    How can anyone kill a precious and helpless animal? There is something bad wrong in there head! So many heartless cruel humans in the world!

  14. avatar Luanne says:

    Obviously these creeps enjoy killing!

  15. avatar Kay Flockhart says:

    The people who did this should be fired. How could they skin the poor thing under the eyes of children. That was not a lesson for the children–as was
    stated–unless it taught children that people are cruel and cracy.
    No more zoo visiting–young children might wonder if they are next.

  16. avatar NAT KING says:


  17. avatar Jack L Dillon says:

    Disgusting….I would like to use some foul words to say how I feel about the idiots who made the decision to kill the baby giraffe…When are humans going to understand they are supposed to protect not kill God’s creatures…It breaks my heart that no one stood up for this poor animal…What does this say about the adults in this world? God help our children if this is what they have to look up to…

  18. avatar angie says:

    I just don’t understand why the didn’t let another zoo take him if they didn’t. Have room for him. This kind of thong is just wrong.

  19. avatar gloria taber says:

    This is inexcusable!! To destroy a healthy young animal because it’s useless for breeding is no excuse at all. I am an animal lover and to see an animal destroyed unnecessarily is beyond belief.I saw a clip abt this on our evening news and they showed kids watching this horrific event. That’s even worse!! That’s basically telling kids it’s okay to hurt and kill animals. That’s the wrong message entirely! I understand that ideally animals would be better off in their natural habitat. However, in this world of insanity, animals in the wild are being killed by poachers, hunters, trappers, etc, for reasons no better than this. As far as I’m concerned, we need zoos to protect these animals in case their wild counterparts are driven to extinction. Howevern, there is still no excuse for killing Marius just because the Copenhagen Zoo decided they didn’t need him anymore. Why not offer him to some other zoo? At least, that way, Marius could still be alive. R.I.P. sweet Marius. I pray for those unfortunate creatures who destroyed you!

  20. avatar Barry Dennis says:

    IS fhis the best we can do for Gods creatures…REALLY…

  21. avatar sarah says:

    A true loss. People have no idea the impact they are making

  22. avatar darlenaKureishi says:

    No regard for life. We wonder why people murder others (animals and people alike) in cold blood. Here is what you do-tempt another creature (rye bread) and get the creature into a vulnerable state-then murder them in cold blood all because they trusted you to give them food, a treat what ever.. Then cut up their precious body infront of young children. Justify it by saying that Marius was not good for breeding. Many people on the face of the earth with that credential. In one or two years later we wonder why these children go and murder someone the same way-and mankind gets up in arms-totally surprised. We can say and blame the zoo staff and we should but anyone who eats meat is handing out rye bread (torturing animals) and pulling the trigger on thousands of innocent lives.

  23. avatar priscilla caballero says:

    What a disgust this is.sick

  24. avatar Diana M Pope says:

    My heart aches for this beautiful animal. It absolutely sickens me! However, it doesn’t surprise me. We must remember that more than 90,000 male dairy calves are shot at birth every year because there is no market for them and close to one million male calves are raised and slaughtered for veal each year. These innocent animals deserve as much media attention and outpouring of compassion as this young giraffe. They are all victims of man’s cold-hearted abuse and it must stop!

  25. avatar Roberto says:

    Danes described as “hypocrisy” protests against the recent decision of a zoo in Denmark to KILL A HEALTHY BABY GIRAFFE.

    Hypocrisy is considering correct to inflict unnecessary suffering to ANYONE.

    That baby should NOT be there. NOR THE LIONS that were fed with the remains of his body. NO animal should be. People, including children, should NOT be there to watch the baby’s body being cut as in a “SHOW”.

    Any minimally BALANCED person would be against to having fun with UNNECESSARY SUFFERING. They would, if they ever thought about it.

    Managers CHOOSE to treat the zoo animals like INANIMATE OBJECTS. They deprive them of freedom and keep them alive in unhealthy conditions, until they lose their usefulness, like happened with that baby.

    Zoos reinforce the idea, especially in children, that animals can and should be used as inanimate objects.

    Numerous animals are imprisoned, tortured in various ways 24 hours a day, in GEARS moved by suffering, death and commercial interests.

    We will see the day when zoos are viewed as REMNANTS OF BARBARISM in our civilization.

  26. this is terribly a BIG SHAME for the zoo authorities of Denmark. i demand this zoo to be CLOSED in a timely manner. this is inhumane. i was thinking the killings in Europe stopped already………. CLOSE THIS ZOO AND SAVE THE INNOCENT ANIMALS FROM DANISH ZOO KILLERS.

  27. avatar Zimboy USA says:

    Zoo’s are supposed to be the best way to see the animals in their own sorroundings and NOT TO BE KILLED. it seems Danish Zoo authorities are breeding for profit then kill if they can’t produce the way they expect…… CLOSE THE ZOO NOW AND STOP VISITING DENMARK FOR TOURISM.

  28. avatar TANIA SMUTS says:

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

  29. avatar Janet Rico says:

    I have been to more zoos, circuses, Sea World, etc over the years than I can count. I enjoyed seeing animals up close. They are awesome. But the days of ignorance are in the past. There simply is too much evidence now that keeping wild animals in these unnatural environments is harmful to their well being in the long run.

    Animals like giraffes, elephants, lions and so on naturally roam vast areas, many miles. Even a large enclosure is not large enough. Zoos cannot provide the land and least of all, cannot allow the animals to roam to the far reaches of a large enclosure where the ticket buying public cannot see them. Zoos have to deliver what the ticket buyer came to see, so there is great financial dis-incentive to actually provide appropriately-sized enclosures.

    Zoos keep breeding animals because cute babies draw in the paying-public but none of these animals are allowed to live out there lives in tranquility. Space is needed for more babies. So the vicious cycle of purging the existing animals continues. Some get lucky (for lack of another term) and are shipped off to other zoos, others like Marius face a far more cruel end. If CPH Zoo was operated by ethical people, Marius would have been allowed to live out his days even if he could not be used for breeding. But zoos are cold, calculating, money-making industries where no portion of the profit can be spared to feed the less-than-perfec such as Marius.

    I urge everyone to speak up with your money. Do not visit zoos, circuses or marine wildlife parks. Don’t go to see movies that use wild animals. Explain to your kids why it is not okay to go to these places. There are places that you can take children to see wild animals and be a part of the solution at the same time. Near my home, there is a seal and sea lion rescue organization that rehabilitates these animals and returns them to the ocean. The public is permitted to view them and all donations are used for their care. Look for places like this in your area. They could really use your money.

  30. avatar Sameer Hafiz says:

    boycott all zoos. there is nothing more powerful to humans than greed. animals at least are above us.

  31. avatar Colleen Frasr says:

    That this act of utter violence was tolerated by Danish society is a sign of grave sickness: how a society treats its least powerful and voiceless inhabitants speaks loudly about who they are. And here they are heartless capitalist killers. If the imprisoned creature cannot generate more progeny or funds, they he is to be killed.

    What a despicable world we are to allow this to occur. Zoos are Hell Holes for animals and after that, they are murdered. Amore highly developed species should overrule us and remove us from Earth while there is still something worthwhile remaining.

  32. avatar C says:

    The more I read about this poor beautiful animal the angry I get :(

  33. avatar veronica says:

    This is just inhumane and cold blooded! Is this necessary???? Why do this? Take it back to the wild! Nd whtevr happens in the wild STAYS in the WILD! Understand??? Geeeee, so humilated w soooo much killing of sensless animals! I cannot imagine wht they r going thru locked up in cages, they kno somthing BAD is abt to happn to them, nd they can’t even gt out! Its NO wondr why this world is coming to a FLAT END

  34. avatar gordon bridger says:

    Disgusting human beings!

    I will never forget the picture of his beautiful long neck lying on the ground dead.

    German officials should be ashamed.

    Have you learned nothing about killing innocent lives! FOOLS!

  35. avatar Valentina says:

    It’s a crazy thing!

  36. avatar L.D.Zafar says:

    Pathetic excuses for human beings…You can tell how really civilized a country is by the way it treats their animals….What does this show the world what kind of inbreeds you really are. To do this to such a beautiful creature. You have no right to take its life, there are always other ways. You were its judge, jury, and executioner, One day, all those involved will meet their reward when it comes around to them in ways you will never have imagined, it is only a matter of time before it does, and mercy will turn its head.

  37. avatar Jean Wykes says:

    What a pity we can’t wipe out undesireable humans as easily.

  38. avatar Antonella Bacchini says:

    Non siamo Dio e non possiamo decidere arbitrariamente della vita di altre creature! Smettiamola di uccidere gli animali, solo perchè sono più deboli e indifesi.

  39. avatar Tamara Walcavich says:

    How can people contact this zoo and how can
    we open awareness here in the states
    to these kinds of horrid acts on animals.

  40. avatar Sandy Rigdon says:

    This act has made me sick! God gave us this beautiful earth and these beautiful creatures and all we seem to do is mess it up??? You can tell a nation by the way they treat their animals…What a shame..protect their habitat and leave them alone like God intended.

  41. avatar Richard Fong says:

    Shameful! Shameful! Shameful! This zoo should be closed or the director replaced with someone more in tune with the needs of animals. Each animal is an individual in need of kindness.

  42. avatar Cristina Magill says:

    Shame on you Denmark zoo,disgusting crimnal activity to kill such a beautiful innocent animal,despite protest of thousands of people try to save the giraffe.How can you look in his eyes and kill him,defying all animal lovers?And inviting other to watch?You are insane and shame on those parents bringing their children to watch such a horrible crime!!!!

  43. avatar Helene says:

    It is absolutely cruel and absurd, never should such shameful actions be able to take place anywhere. I truly pray that humanity will wake up and open their eyes to that animals are also living beings.
    I am chocked to hear that decisions like this exist in our society. Who on earth can just decide that a beautiful spark of life are not worth existing just because it can not produce off-spring? Just wake up and think, all of you who are involved in decisions of this kind…. Just stop and feel for a moment and let your true self and your heart make that decision, I am quite sure it will be different…. when you start feeling…. Enough of cruelty against animals!!!!

  44. avatar Arlene says:

    There is another beautiful giraffe in another zoo in Denmark [shocking] ironically also named Marius, that is destined to receive the same fate as the first Marius!!! This is standard protocol for this Country, and they are not alone in the barbaric practice! We have a very famous zoo in our area that back in the 1990’s they were selling their “extra baggage animals to” gaming ranches” in Texas! They were exposed, and since [so they say] have stopped selling these beautiful animals to be slaughtered! The laws need to change, and we need to get the media more involved to expose these “torture chambers” to the public! If people are aware of what is really taking place,we, the people, will make the needed changes!

  45. avatar caren says:

    Shame on them !

  46. avatar caren says:

    Its an out rage What gives them the right to take a life!

  47. avatar Rocco says:

    Zoo’s have never treated these animals with care or love. These animals should be left in the wild were they can enjoy there lives with out being abused by these non human people we live with.

  48. avatar Geomare Aviles says:

    Abominable, barbaric people!

  49. avatar Martha says:

    I also agree. Exploiting animals for personal gain is one of the worst errors of the human race. Torturing (for testing or science) and killing (in this instance) for the sake of space is cruel and unnecessary. We must continue to fight these acts in anyway possible.

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