Marius Is No More

The late Marius Giraffe
File this under the oddities of life in the 21st century. A Danish zoo recently killed a young giraffe and fed him to tigers for no good reason other than they preferred that to neutering him.
Poor Marius. At 10 a.m. Sunday morning, the young giraffe was put down by his minders at the Copenhagen Zoo, despite the fact that he was perfectly healthy (and utterly adorable). Then, with television cameras rolling and dozens of families watching, the giraffe’s body was skinned and carved up for tiger meat.

In order to keep giraffe stock healthy, inbreeding is prohibited and the zoo had enough of Marius' species, so he couldn't be allowed to breed.

I feel sorry for Marius but disinclined to fault the animal husbandry at work. If he'd been returned to the savannah he might well have ended up tiger (or lion, I guess) meat there, too. But this caused me to raise my eyebrow:
neutering the young giraffe would have diminished his quality of life, says Holst. “Our most important objective is to ensure that the animals have the best life they can for as long as they live, whether that’s 20 years or two years. Breeding and parenting are especially important behaviors for a giraffe’s well-being. We didn’t want to interfere with that.”
Neutering diminishes quality of life, eh? Better death than vasectomy?

If you're a giraffe.