Photograph by John Goodridge

Copenhagen Zoo has put down a healthy 18-month-old giraffe despite a petition to save the its life and offers from other zoos to rehome the animal.

Marius was put down with a bolt gun early on Sunday morning, with his carcass fed to the carnivores at the zoo according to officials, who told AFP they were surprised at the scale of the protests.

The zoo said that they had no choice but to put the giraffe down before he reached adulthood under the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) rules to prevent in-breeding. His genes were similar to many of the other giraffes at the zoo, and none of the other EAZA-affiliated zoos could rehome him, forcing the zoo into the decision to put him down.

Copenhagen Zoo had offers to rehome the animal from Yorkshire Wildlife Park in the UK, as well as a zoo in Sweden, and offers from private individuals, but they made it clear that it was not their policy to sell their animals.



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