Saturday, February 6, 2016

Repugnant transactions in zoos

The NY Times ran the following story a little while ago:
Zoo’s Public Dissection of Lion Makes Denmark Again a Target of Outrage

"On Thursday, staff members at a zoo in Odense, the country’s third-largest city, publicly dissected the corpse of a 9-month-old lion in front of an audience including children. The lion, a healthy female, was put to death in February after the zoo sought in vain to find her another home.

"The move comes more than a year after another Danish zoo, in Copenhagen, generated global outrage when it killed a healthy 2-year-old giraffe named Marius, ostensibly to reduce the risk of inbreeding, before dissecting him and feeding him to lions.
"Ms. Christensen said the lion was put down to prevent inbreeding, since she was living in the same enclosure as her father and the two would have been likely to mate. The lion had since been kept in a freezer.

"She noted that while it was a preference in some countries, like the United States, to use contraception to keep zoo populations under control and prevent inbreeding, many zoos in Denmark and across Europe considered it better for animal welfare officers to let animals breed and express their natural instincts, even if that meant culling some of the offspring, as a last resort, for reasons of conservation."

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