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Old 02-21-2014, 10:48 AM
 
21,927 posts, read 65,005,414 times
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I have rarely seen a better article on a "hot" topic fueled by media and special interest group feeding frenzy than this one concerning the killing of the giraffe at the Copenhagen zoo. It is well worth reading all the way through.

The Death of Marius: A Step By Step Analysis - Science Sushi | DiscoverMagazine.com

After reading it, rent the movie "Silent Running" and reflect upon the "lack of funding" statement in the article as you watch the order given to destroy the space habitats. The easy answers have all been answered and the future will be increasingly filled with hard decisions.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:55 AM
 
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Marius should have been saved. His purpose of entertaining visitors at the zoo could easily been maintained by removing him from exposure to females. What a waste of a beautiful, healthy animal!
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:35 AM
 
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Did you read the article?
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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Since they have a no contraception policy at the zoo, and giraffes and other mammals enjoy making other little mammals, I guess they can save costs by producing extra animals to feed to the lions.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:35 PM
 
541 posts, read 823,126 times
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This is so very sad. I also object to the "Marius Was Necropsied In Front Of Guests" decision. The public demonstration of it was just downright cruel and wrong.

I don't care if they felt they killed him in a humane fashion; there seemed to be no good reason for his death other than overcrowding.

Also: "Marius’ genetics are such that he could not contribute productively to that program, and his offspring would be detrimental to the overall population. "
I guess he also wasn't perfect enough for breeding either.

Last edited by Tantamount; 02-21-2014 at 06:47 PM..
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Did you read the article?
Yes, and I realize that he could not have offspring. He still could have lived.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:46 PM
 
21,927 posts, read 65,005,414 times
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Tantamount, the article covers the necropsy very clearly. It was ONLY those who actively wanted to be present that were allowed to watch.

Georgianbelle, I agree that it is sad, but in the sense that the limited funding forces decisions that are uncomfortable. In order for you to have milk and cheese available, heifers have to be freshened, the calves separated from their mothers and turned into veal or (generally) brought up as meat cattle. In order for carnivores to live other animals have to die. The fact that an animal may be cuter or more furry or taller is irrelevant except to our instinctual attraction to some traits and aversion to others.

I found the article elegant in that it put various aspects in perspective while still having respect. I have hammered on the point before, but kids who have either grown up on a farm or seen the full cycle of life are much better able to handle the realities of nature than those who grew up on only on Disney's version of anthropomorphic animals in a cartoon setting.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:23 AM
 
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Animals raised to be food are different than an animal raised in a zoo to entertain the visitors. Why couldn't this giraffe have continued to serve his purpose? He was not needed as food, even though they used him to feed the carnivores. I really thought the purpose of a zoo was to protect its animals and to educate and entertain its visitors.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgianbelle View Post
Animals raised to be food are different than an animal raised in a zoo to entertain the visitors. Why couldn't this giraffe have continued to serve his purpose? He was not needed as food, even though they used him to feed the carnivores. I really thought the purpose of a zoo was to protect its animals and to educate and entertain its visitors.
Agreed!

Plus they had an offer from a sanctuary in Britain to purchase the young giraffe. The killing, which was not done privately or quietly, was unnecessary in this case. It is not as if this zoo did not have food for their carnivores.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:19 AM
 
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The article pointed out the strict requirements they had to adhere to in placing the animal elsewhere, and the decisions made as far as zoo population. Zoos must break even financially and properly care for the animals that they have. They cannot become like the town cat lady with 200 malnourished cats that she "must protect." A responsible zoo caretaker has about a thousand times more exposure to claims of maltreatment of animals, and literally is between a rock and a hard place in trying to juggle all the needs. "Do we starve all the other animals just a little bit so this one can survive?" "Do we lower our standards in general to save money for this animal?"

I suspect that if you asked an animal if it knew it was being kept to entertain or for eventual food it would not know. The stated purpose of breeding zoos is to maintain the viability of the species throughout the distant future. Entertainment, in the form of admission tickets and grants, fund that goal.
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