Petition Closed

Marius the giraffe was shot in the head because he could not be of use in the Copenhagen Zoo breeding program, despite public outcry and other organizations' offers to take him off their hands. After being shot in the head, Marius was butchered in front of a crowd of families, then literally fed to the lions.

Far from being receptive to and understanding of the public's outrage at this bloody spectacle, Zoo Director Bent Holst has absolved himself of any accountability, instead speaking and acting as though he is an agent of Nature, and his zoo merely a mirror of the African Savannah.

There are less than 80,000 giraffes left in the wild. Marius the giraffe was healthy, and young, just two years old. In the wild, Giraffes can live up to 25 years. He was robbed of the good life he could have had, if only he were not a captive of this zoo. These facilities have an obligation to their captives, to the public and to the natural world to do better.

Letter to
Copenhagen Zoo Board of Directors
We hereby call for the resignation or termination of Zoo Director Bent Holst, in light of his recent decisions and responses surrounding the “euthanization” of a giraffe named Marius.
According to your organization’s website, it is the Copenhagen Zoo’s vision to be “known and respected as an active conservation organization with a GLOBAL perspective and network, a company with high ethical standards, a company where the guest is in focus.” And yet, the actions and words of your zoo director seem to undermine this recently.
First there is Holst’s dubious decision to have a healthy, two year-old giraffe shot in the head when it became clear he was useless for breeding because of his genes. There are estimated to be less than 80,000 of these creatures left in the wild, and your director’s decision was to exterminate this giraffe in a machismo public spectacle. Holst said, in an interview with CNN, “Having animals, we have to take care of them while they are in our care.” That is precisely the problem: this animal was in your care, and instead of being cared for, or relocated to somewhere that would occur, this young, healthy animal -dependent upon your facility for care- was killed.
Perhaps this would be understandable to the public if there truly were no other option. But numerous organizations and individuals stepped forward offering to take over responsibility for Marius. The UK’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park offered to take Marius in. Holst’s response to this is that his zoo would not send Marius to an institution with “lesser standards of welfare.”
Now Marius is dead. How is that for his “welfare”? What is the Yorkshire Wildlife Park to think, that you would rather shoot an animal in its head than allow them to attempt to care for it?
An individual purportedly offered to buy Marius for a staggering $680,000. Holst has had no discernable response to why this individual was not taken up on his/her offer, nor as to why zero effort was made to relocate Marius to a wildlife preserve in Africa, as per your zoo’s mission statement and vision statements regarding conservation efforts.
As if this were not baffling enough, Holst’s response to public outrage and confusion about his actions has utterly lacked any note of contrition or even personal accountability. He has outright stated, “The many reactions don't change our attitude to what we do.” How does this align with your stated vision of “a company where the guest is in focus”? Either your organization is sensitive to public opinion, or it is not.
In his interview with CNN, Holst also said, “To euthanize an animal if it’s a surplus, it’s nothing that isn’t done every day in countries all over the world.” This justifies all manner of sin, doesn’t it? Rape happens in countries all over the world. So does torture. Does that preclude responsibility in our personal and professional lives?
Holst seems to feel righteous in his actions, beyond reproach, sanctioned by Mother Nature herself. On your zoo’s Facebook page and website, he states, “There are two reasons why we feed our carnivores with carcasses,” referring to his decision to chop up Marius and very literally feed him to the lions. Marius was not a “carcass” until Holst made him so. Please make no mistake: your zoo is NOT the African Savannah. This was not an act of the natural world, and to attempt to portray it as such shows hubris beyond comprehension, akin to playing God.
Holst went further, saying, “In this case, we know that the meat comes from an animal who has led a good life.” Marius was two years old. Giraffes live up to 25 years in the wild. Two years in captivity followed by murder hardly qualifies as a “good life.”
Marius the giraffe was young and healthy, and robbed of the good life he could have had, if only he were not a captive of your zoo, and ruthlessly slaughtered for, at best, a lack of imagination for alternatives, and at worst a barbaric, sensationalist exhibition.
We hope to see your zoo’s practices more clearly aligned with your stated vision in future. Thank you.
Vi Undertegnede opfordrer hermed til fratræden eller opsigelse af Zoo Direktør Bent Holst, i lyset af hans nylige beslutninger og reaktioner omkring " euthanization " af en giraf ved navn Marius .
Ifølge organisationens hjemmeside , er det Københavns Zoo vision at være " kendt og respekteret som en aktiv bevaring organisation med et globalt perspektiv og netværk , en virksomhed med høje etiske standarder , en virksomhed, hvor gæsten er i fokus. " Og dog, de handlinger og ord i din zoo direktør synes at underminere dette for nylig.
Først er der Holst tvivlsomme beslutning om at have en sund, to-årige giraf skudt i hovedet , da det stod klart, at han var ubrugelig til avl på grund af sine gener . Der skønnes at være mindre end 80.000 af disse skabninger efterladt i naturen, og din instruktør beslutning var at udrydde denne giraf i en machismo offentlig skue. Holst sagde i et interview med CNN, "At have dyr , er vi nødt til at tage sig af dem , mens de er i vores varetægt . " Det er netop det problem : dette dyr var i din varetægt , og i stedet for at blive passet , eller flyttet til et sted , der ville opstå , denne unge , sunde dyr - afhængig af din facilitet for pleje - blev dræbt.
Måske ville det være forståeligt for offentligheden, hvis der virkelig var ingen anden mulighed. Men mange organisationer og enkeltpersoner trådte frem tilbyder at overtage ansvaret for Marius . Den britiske Yorkshire Wildlife Park tilbød at tage Marius i. Holst svar på dette er, at hans zoo ikke ville sende Marius til en institution med " ringere standarder for velfærd ".
Nu Marius er død. Hvordan er, at for hans "velfærd" ? Hvad er Yorkshire Wildlife Park til at tænke, at du hellere vil skyde et dyr i sit hoved end give dem mulighed for at forsøge at passe det ?
En person angiveligt tilbød at købe Marius for et svimlende $ 680,000 . Holst har haft nogen mærkbar reaktion på , hvorfor denne person ikke blev taget op på hans / hendes tilbud , og heller ikke , hvorfor nul indsats blev gjort for at flytte Marius til et dyrereservat i Afrika , som pr din zoo idégrundlag og vision udsagn om bevarelse indsats .
Som om dette ikke var forvirrende nok, har Holst reaktion på offentlig forargelse og forvirring om hans handlinger aldeles manglede enhver notat af anger eller endda personlig ansvarlighed. Han har kategorisk udtalte: " De mange reaktioner ændrer ikke vores holdning til , hvad vi gør . " Hvordan dette tilpasse med din erklærede vision om " en virksomhed, hvor gæsten er i fokus ?" Enten er din organisation er følsom over for den offentlige mening, eller det ikke er .
I sit interview med CNN, Holst sagde også , "" For at aflive et dyr, hvis det er et overskud , er det ikke noget, der ikke sker hver dag i lande over hele verden . "Dette retfærdiggør alle former for synd , ikke sandt ? Voldtægt sker i lande over hele verden . Så gør tortur. Er der udelukker ansvar i vores personlige og professionelle liv?
Holst synes at føle retfærdige i hans handlinger , uden bebrejdelse , sanktioneret af Moder Natur selv . På din zoo Facebook side og hjemmeside , han siger: " Der er to grunde til, at vi fodrer vores kødædere med kroppe, " med henvisning til hans beslutning om at hugge op Marius og meget bogstaveligt fodre ham til løverne. Marius ikke var en " slagtet ", indtil Holst gjorde ham så . Venligst tag ikke fejl : din zoo er IKKE den afrikanske savanne . Dette var ikke en handling af den naturlige verden , og forsøge at skildre det som sådan viser hybris uforståeligt , beslægtet med at spille Gud.
Holst gik videre og sagde: "I dette tilfælde ved vi, at kødet kommer fra et dyr, der har ført et godt liv. " Marius var to år gammel . Giraffer lever op til 25 år i naturen. To år i fangenskab efterfulgt af mord næppe karakteriseres som et " godt liv ".
Marius giraffen var ung og sund , og berøvet af det gode liv, han kunne have haft , hvis blot ikke var han en fange af din zoo , og hensynsløst slagtet til , i bedste fald en mangel på fantasi efter alternativer , og i værste fald en barbarisk , sensationspræget udstilling .
Vi håber at se din zoo praksis mere klart på linje med din erklærede vision i fremtiden. Tak.