Sunday, 9 February 2014

Zoos Gone Bad - The Killing of Marius the Giraffe

Dear Bengt Holst

I am writing as a human from another country but one who values our humanity and our ability to empathise across the world, with life and the animals around us.

Your decision to kill a healthy Giraffe "Marius" on the simple basis of "strong genes" brings shame on the credibility of all zoos but also that of our humanity which should stop us carrying out such barbaric and cruel acts of naturalistic vandalism.

Nature is indeed a cruel place and in the wild animals are killed and die everyday but at least have the chance to roam free and live the life nature intended. In captivity that is denied to animals either in the name of conservation or simple entertainment for the masses. The Trade off should be that we treat these animals with the utmost dignity and respect that values the sacrifice they are making to bring pleasure and joy to those who visit the Zoo and also the learning through the study of animals in captivity can lead to.

You were given options and offers from other zoos around Europe and yet you decided that death rather than life was the only option putting academic attitudes above the life and dignity of another living being.

Your simple dismissal of the opinions attitudes and out cry from people within Denmark, Europe and the rest of the World is pure arrogance and all I can say is I hope that you are hit where it hurts most by your bank balances and others with better ethics have the option of taking over in your place.

I hope these strong words and those of others you will have undoubtedly received in the thousands, make you re consider your actions and decide to give a full apology. Whilst not changing your dreadful actions it would at least prevent such a travesty happening again.

Yours Sincerely

Tara Hewitt

Learn more about the Story here:

BBC News -Surplus' giraffe put down at Copenhagen Zoo

I hope you will take a few minutes like me to email the zoo to share your concerns. Their email address is:



  1. Great piece. There are three things which make the case so disturbing. First of all, though it is not easy to move an animal like a giraffe around, there were offers from other zoos to keep Marius alive. Secondly, if Copenhagen were competent in their management of their animals, they would be in better control of breeding. If Marius is the result of overpopulation or genetic entanglement, the answer is to "breed better" which may well mean "not breeding" and using chemical contraception.

    Thirdly, and perhaps the most revolting, is that the zoo exhibited his corpse to the public, then chopped him up and fed him to other animals.

    Copenhagen Zoo are guilty of the most grotesque incompetence and insensitivity.

  2. Excellent. I've also written to them a couple of times and my local zoo to express my outrage. Tara, Blue ? Lots of badgers and bees to save. Have you not thought of being a Green like me ;)

  3. If the people from the zoo are capable of such a barbarian act in public, who knows what they are capable of behind close doors ?