End of a giraffe and conservation
Marius, the Giraffe
|Giraffe in London Zoo who could have been killed if its genes were too similar to others or if the wrong age (i.e. too young).|
- A zoo should be the first place that tries to prevent the killing of animals, certainly when other zoos offer a solution. The animal trusted its keepers and thus it didn't expect that the offer of some food would be its death (in the wild, giraffes never trust lions). Only during adverse situation (for instance, food shortages or overpopulation or disease) and when animals can't be moved to another zoo, only then should a zoo consider to kill animals (used in breeding schemes to preserve species).
- The role of a zoo is to stimulate the love for animals, not to teach children that killing is part of animal life; they will learn soon enough that most animals are only born to be food. It is almost as in the "Hunger Games": tell children that killing a giraffe (animal) is not a problem and don't be surprised they may kill giraffes (animals) as adults. The way the zoo defended the killing and feeding of the animal in front of children showed it was simply a managerial decision, taken without any respect for the animal.
- Why did the zoo have the animal as the zoo selected the parents and thus knew in advance that the animal would have been genetically quite similar with other giraffes and thus not worth breeding. The zoo could have searched longer for other parents. In addition, the zoo admits Marius was not particular inbred nor had any identifiable health problems. Thus, a healthy animal was killed to avoid an ill animal may be born. Setting up an experiment needs thinking in advance to avoid having to destroy a mistake (in this case, kill an animal). Thus, let us hope all zoos will learn from this and think in future before placing two animals together to breed. Further, every animal born can be male and thus killed.