After the public outcry over the death of Marius the giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo, you’d think the Danes would shy away from any other killings. Not a bit of it. I’ve been on the phone to the curator and zoologist at another Danish zoo, this time in Jutland.
Jyllands Park Zoo has two male giraffes, one of whom is unfortunately called Marius – unfortunate because he too is now under threat. If the zoo gets a female, and decides to start breeding giraffes, Marius has to go. The zoo says it will try to re-home him but if that doesn’t work then he too will be killed, just like his namesake.
The curator, Jesper Moehring-Jensen told me they euthanized a giraffe just last year because it had a leg injury (arthritis I think).
“We don’t have a problem euthanizing animals if there’s no other solution,” he told me.
And if you’re wondering whether he would allow children to watch Marius II being dissected and fed to the lions, then yes he would. It’s all about ‘education’ he explains.
To me it’s a perfect illustration of just how different, culturally, Denmark is to the UK. I still maintain that the damage done to Denmark’s PR after last Sunday is huge. But as Jyllands Park Zoo shows, the Danes don’t care what anyone else thinks.
So if your name’s Marius and you’re a giraffe in Denmark then my advice is get out as quickly as you can…