Cold Blooded Murder of a Young Giraffe

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

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I don’t like any zoo, but I am especially outraged by the action of the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark on Sunday (February 9).  I am hardly alone:  More than 27,000 people signed a “save Marius petition,” when the zoo announced that zoo officials intended to kill the adorable and much-loved 18-month old Marius. Many thousands of other people around the world have taken to the Internet to express their sadness, their bewilderment, and their horror at this completely unnecessary, even ghoulish act.   It caused revulsion in most people who read about it.  It was an execution many noted.  The reason the zoo gave for killing Marius struck just about every ordinary person as bizarre:  He was killed because his genes were too similar to those of other zoo giraffes in a European breeding program.  “He cannot add anything further to the breeding programme that does not already exist,” a European…

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