Condemn Euthanasia of Healthy Lions


Target: Bengt Holst, Director, Copenhagen Zoo

Goal: Criticize the unnecessary euthanasia of four healthy lions at a popular zoo

The Copenhagen Zoo recently euthanized four healthy lions, two adults and two cubs, to make room for a new male lion. This is the same zoo that, killed a healthy 18-month old giraffe earlier this year to prevent inbreeding, rather than finding it a home with another zoo or sanctuary. As with the giraffe, the zoo said it failed to find a new home for the lions.

Two adult lions and two ten-month old lions were euthanized to alter the pride structure before the arrival of a new male lion, which the zoo hopes will form a pride with two females born in 2012. Zoo officials claim that the older lions were killed as a form of generational rotation, while the younger ones were killed because they would not be able to defend themselves from the new lion, which would likely “kill them the first chance it got.”

Earlier this year, a healthy giraffe named Marius was shot dead and dissected in front of visitors before being cut up and fed to the zoo’s carnivores. The giraffe was euthanized, instead of being re-homed, in order to prevent inbreeding of the zoo’s giraffe herd.

A statement made by a zoo spokesperson claimed that the Copenhagen Zoo is recognized worldwide for their work with lions, and that it is “proud that one of the zoo’s own brood now forms the center of a new pride of lions.” Management of the Copenhagen Zoo seem to have no compunctions about euthanizing young, healthy, and endangered animals. Condemn the euthanasia of these four young lions, which could have been easily avoided by transporting them to a wildlife sanctuary.


Dear Bengt Holst, Director, Copenhagen Zoo,

Four healthy lions were recently euthanized at the Copenhagen zoo ahead of the addition of a single male lion. Two older lions were killed to adjust the average population age, while two ten-month old lions were killed to save them from “certain” death at the hands of the new male. The lions, which are critically endangered in many parts of the world, could have been re-homed at a sanctuary rather than euthanized.

Earlier this year, the Copenhagen Zoo came under fire for their unnecessary euthanasia of a healthy 18-month old giraffe named Marius. This giraffe, like the lions, could have been re-homed in a more appropriate facility.

The Copenhagen Zoo shows a blatant disregard for the value of animal life, and shows no shame when it comes to killing young and healthy animals. I condemn the euthanasia of these lions, who could have gone on to live and breed in a more appropriate facility.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Andy Mitchell via Creative Commons

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  1. Christina Anderson says:

    This is the same zoo that killed a healthy young giraffe and slaughtered him and fed him to the lions. Bengt Holst should be fired and never allowed near another animal forever!!

  2. Nancy O'Neal says:

    Infuriating standard practices do not deserve support. Rebellion is at hand unless their is change!

  3. it really does make one wonder exactly what goes on in these places, it is so disgusting to do what they have done, for pities sake, i am sure they could have found new homes for the poor lions that were killed, shameful, and i always thought zoo’s and the like looked out for the animals, how wrong can you be.

  4. C’è del marcio in Danimarca…

  5. night magic says:


  6. Copenhagen Zoo again hey?? After what you did to Marius, I despise your zoo and now with the lions/cubs…….. no words!!!!!

  7. Boicote esse Zoo!!!

  8. Why choose murder when you have other life-affirming alternatives?! Why would anyone in a position of authority, making rational decisions on a daily basis, choose to kill unnecessarily? THIS IS CRUEL, UNCONSCIONABLE, IMMORAL, INSANE, SHAMEFUL, CRIMINAL … This is horrific! These animals could’ve been transferred out of your zoo … WHY KILL!? WHY MURDER? WHY SLAUGHTER? WHY DO YOU CHOOSE DEATH! Don’t you think that these animals want to live? — don’t you believe they have the right to live? HOW DARE YOU SNUFF THE LIFE OUT OF OTHER LIVING BEINGS! DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR OWN LIFE IS VALUABLE? THEN, HOW COULD YOU?!

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