The Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark ignored the protests of animal rights activists and killed a young, healthy giraffe named Marius.
Veterinarian Mads Bertelsen shot the giraffe in the head. Injecting it would have contaminated the giraffe's meat, which they plan to feed to other animals in the zoo. Bertelsen told Reuters: "This giraffe walked out here at quarter past nine, it was let out into its yard over there. Then there was a zookeeper with some rye bread. It really likes rye bread, and he said, 'Here you go Marius, here is some rye bread.' I stood behind with a rifle, and when he put his head forward and ate the rye bread, then I shot him through the brain. It sounds violent, but it means that Marius had no idea of what was coming. He got his bread, then he died."
The zoo defended its decision to kill the 18-month-old giraffe because it no longer had the space to accommodate him. Even so, a British zoo offered to take in Marius, and the Copenhagen Zoo declined, citing rules on inbreeding. An online petition received more than 25,000 signatures but staff members at the zoo killed the animal anyway and butchered it in front of children, as shown in the video above. The zoo said the meat from Marius' body will be fed to lions, polar bears and tigers at the zoo.