Copenhagen Zoo Kills Four Lions To Make Room For Young Breeding Lion

250px-Male_Lion_on_Rock200px-Zoo-kbh-2005We previously discussed the disturbing video of employees at the Copenhagen Zoo euthanizing and then dissecting a healthy young giraffe in front of children. Now the zoo is again under fire after killing two older lions and two young lions to make way for a new breeding male. As before, it is part of the zoo’s diversity in breeding program. Notably, the dead giraffe was fed to the lions previously. They were then themselves put on the block.

The zoo said that “[b]ecause of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behavior, the zoo has had to euthanize the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves.” Other zoos did not take the lions so they were killed — four of as many as 5000 such zoo and aquaria animals killed in Europe every year to maintain diversity.

220px-SecondhandLionsCritics insist that the policy is often used as an excuse to bring in young animals that tend to attract more visitors since, Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, “[t]he doe-eyed newborn has lots of star potential and earning capacity.” I am not willing to ascribe such a motivation to these professionals who obviously love animals. However, that does not get them off the hook in my book. I do believe that there is some moral obligation to a zoo animal once you accept them and raise them in your facility. If you want to replace them, I believe you have to either find room or another zoo or delay the new addition. It is like a scene out of “Secondhand Lions.” I find the idea of killing inconvenient animals appalling. These are living beings that are being discarded like out-of-date props.

What do you think?

25 thoughts on “Copenhagen Zoo Kills Four Lions To Make Room For Young Breeding Lion”

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  2. I want to believe that my last comment to this post was mistakenly deleted while cleaning up spam. Please restore my comment!

  3. Thomas, Well, their research didn’t do the giraffe or the lions much good, did it? Why is this a them vs us question? I’ve been in zoos in several states and several countries. I just can’t do it any more. And it’s a rare day that I eat meat.

  4. Bettykath: “This zoo needs to spend some money on finding out how to save the giraffes and the lions instead of killing them”

    That’s excactly what they are doing. Do your research.

    Europeans have a healthier and more realistic/authentic approach to wild animals compared to the disneyficated double standard approach that excists in the States.

    Weak wild animals die in nature. Do you guys want to shut down nature as well?

    It’s just makes it even more absurd, that the cry babies don’t cry, when pigs and cows are killed to be served on their own dinner tables.

    Only difference is, that the cows and pigs are not named Simba and Marius.

  5. Copenhagen. Pirate Territory. Fly over and flush. But not over the zoo.

  6. It’s disheartening when someone who loves animals quits working for a zoo b/c she can’t stand the way the animals are treated. She is now studying to counsel humans. Maybe that’s the way to improve the way animals are treated.

    There aren’t a lot of lions left in the world. Their habitat is being destroyed.

    This zoo needs to spend some money on finding out how to save the giraffes and the lions instead of killing them.

    In all sincerity, humans are the most dangerous of invading species.

  7. Get over it! It’s a Zoo not a Disney park. There are solid reasons to do this. Animals get killed in nature too and under much tougher circumstances. Do you also wanna close nature?

    A lot of the same people who cry over the killed lions in zoos, are the same ones who happily eats cows and pigs every day.

    USA slaughters millions of pigs everyday, without people complaining about that.

    And pigs are more intelligent than lions and giraffes. When you pay 10 bucks for three chickens in the super market, you can be sure, that they have had a worse life than these lions. But because it’s a giraf or lion with a name, then people go crazy.

  8. It may be appalling…. But…. Many zoos do things this way…. What would Marlin do…..

  9. Lions breed like rabbits in zoos. In most zoos they are either fixed or the females are on contraceptives. However, the males will still fight to protect their pride. Hence, all the older (stronger, wiser, more cunning) lions have to go if you are going to add a breeding male. This is not a big deal.

    J. Brian – Horses do not kill plants when they eat. They only top them. All grazing animals do this. Your parents, who went to UND, could tell you this.

  10. Is the Copenhagen Zoo ruled by the Copenhagen Interpretation?

    Woe unto those who are so unwise as to make an effort to understand life?

    Since when do horses feeding in a pasture not kill the plants which they eat?

    Since when do horses, feeding in a pasture, not kill the dung beetles that they unwittingly crush under their hooves while grazing?

    Since when is life not made of death no less than death is made of life?

    Since when is death the adversary of life and not the source of life?

    What if the Copenhagen Interpretation is, to some degree and extent, mistaken?

    The Copenhagen Interpretation? Try Wikipedia?

  11. My parents were educated to think scientifically, by their parents and through formal schooling. So was my brother. So was I, and so do I continue.

    My dad, who had a philosophy major and a biology minor from Carleton College, worked as a minister in various congregations in the Congregational Christian Churches and in the United Church of Christ.

    My mother, valedictorian of her high school class, first studied nursing and then got a bachelors degree in education, followed by graduate work at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, taught in high school, and, after marriage, became a home school teacher whose home schooling work was supplemented by my brother’s and my attending public schools in the usual manner for where and when we lived then.

    My brother got his B.A. in psychology from Carleton College and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    In the late 1940s, my dad, who had been pondering why Albert Einstein had been unable to develop a “unified field theory” or, as it may be also called, “a theory of everything.” My dad’s observation, about which he talked many times during family mealtimes, was that Einstein had not been able to accurately grasp the dimensions of the problem. My dad had come to believe that any pragmatically viable “unified field theory of everything” would have to be a biological theory, as no other realm of human scientific study had sufficient dimensions to contain an actual, practicable, testable, and verifiable theory of everything.

    The method of my work is the study of science from the view of religion and the study of religion from the view of science, with those contrasting views understood as being complementary (and therefore not in conflict with each other).

    My dad’s recent ancestry was predominantly British, my mom’s recent ancestry was predominantly Swedish. My recent religious/scientific ancestry was significantly framed by the life work of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1771), who lived much of his life in Sweden and who died in England. My recent ancestors are of a family for whom the harmonie (in contrast with the polarity of anomie with synomie) of science and religion is of the foundational essence of life itself.

    A perspective of the life of Swedenborg may be found in Samuel W. Warren, A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, 1875. (That book is still in print, from the Swedenborg Foundation,Inc., New York.)

    Any authentic “theory of everything” necessarily includes “everything,” or else it is not a theory of “everything.” A theory of everything has to include everything religious as well as everything not religious, else it cannot be a “theory of everything.”

    A plausible candidate, in my view, of a scientifically and socially and religiously, useful theory of everything, one which actually includes everything, including every “thing” that is a process, is, in my view, “Whatever happens, as it happens, is necessary and sufficient.”

    Why is it true that, Whatever happens, as it happens, is necessary and sufficient? It is true because what happens as it happens is always what happens, and nothing else ever happens.

    Put to use in an ordinary human life, I find that the above-stated “theory of everything” neatly and relentlessly sifts truth, as tangible, directly-observable, objective reality from the immense gamut of intangible, purely hypothetical, actually-unrealizable falsehoods.

    The adversarial system of law and jurisprudence has, at its essential core, a false, and scientifically falsified, implicit premise. The scientific falsification of that implicit premise was not possible before the science of biology evolved enough for the scientific falsification of the existential fallacy of law as adversarial to be accomplished.

    It is no less right for the Copenhagen Zoo to use the best management methods they have actually available than it is right for people who are not the managers of the Copenhagen Zoo to protest the Copenhagen Zoo’s managers’ management methodology.

  12. To clear my own thinking about killing animals I have come to the conclusion that death is not bad. What is bad is that too many humans enjoy killing for sport and recreation, not only animals but also other humans. Others enjoy nurturing animals as well as other humans. I imagine that the zoo did not enjoy killing the animals. We need to prioritize. First lets try to stop glorifying killing for pleasure. When that is accomplished we can talk about reducing killing for other reasons.

  13. My horse is a docile creature because it does not kill to eat, unlike cruel humans whose capacity for blood and cruelty is boundless. I think salvation is reserved for only those who apologize for being human. I’m one who is sure embarrassed.

  14. I can understand the goal of preventing problems with genetic inbreeding, but I have to wonder if a zoo could not make another environment for the other lions. Is space that short?

    Secondhand lions is a good movie.

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