Picture above: by RTE, on their Twitter. Details in tweet above from information based on ITV coverage.
Marius the Giraffe is the latest victim of European Union bureaucracy. He was executed with a bolt pistol at between 9:20 or 10 AM Copenhagen time this morning. Marius was then dissected so his meat could be used for lion meat meal. All of this was at the auspices of creating biodiversity via a sort of animal Eugenics demanded of many European Union zoos, those belonging to: European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. A British zoo had offered to take in little Marius and spare his life. European Union animal in-breeding and biodiversity rules however were adhered to by the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark none the less. Little Marius is now dead and this afternoon will become meat meal for the local lions. Marius was a beautiful 18 month old: a year and a half in age. Marius was perfectly healthy. Thousands petitioned online to save little Marius. To no avail.
The zoo stated that as Marius had well represented genes, that it should not be permitted that he gain adulthood and breed. The zoo rejected neutering the animal as cruel and thought releasing it to the wild to be not a viable prospect. Efforts by a wealthy American, with over one billion dollars to their estate, to buy the animal failed. The Copenhagen zoo insisted that Marius was not for sale. A Swedish and British zoo were also denied by the Danish institution as they attempted to save the life of the animal. European Association of Zoos and Aquaria have about 300 affiliated zoos.
Biodiversity consists of two forms: measure of different species, and measure within a species of genetic characteristics. Certain theories of evolution hold that when biodiversity among a population becomes negligible, it is then that mutations occur, and when species evolve into new species and forms, the effective surviving. The same theories would hold that great biodiversity prevents species evolution in any great amount. It would have been very difficult for the giraffe species to gradually evolve a taller neck, the mutation from its prior form could well have been instant. Some estimate that a gradual evolution would have seen early giraffes die due to blood circulation, and that giraffes must be from an instantaneous line of mutation.
Many important historical paintings from Europe included giraffes as symbols of wealth, and otherworldly exoticism. The Giraffe has for centuries excited and fascinated Europeans with their unusual alien long neck. Like African people themselves (often kept in cages for European freak shows), Giraffes were once a prized possession in Eurasia. The thought of such an unusual animal being summarily put to death, has thus caused considerable outrage, seemingly to the surprise of a Danish zoo, who have none the less ended the life of young Marius.
I thought to quote a few paragraphs from Encyclopaedia Britannica on Giraffes below:
'giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) Encyclopædia Britannica Article
'long-necked, cud-chewing, hoofed mammal of Africa, with long legs and a coat pattern of irregular brown patches on a light background. Giraffes are the tallest of all land animals; males (bulls) may exceed 5.5 metres (18 feet) in height, and the tallest females (cows) are about 4.5 metres. Using prehensile tongues almost half a metre long, they are able to browse foliage almost six metres from the ground. Giraffes are a common sight in grasslands and open woodlands in East Africa [...]
'Paintings of giraffes appear on early Egyptian tombs; just as today, giraffe tails were prized for the long wiry tuft hairs used to weave belts and jewelry. In the 13th century, East Africa supplied a trade in hides. During the 19th and 20th centuries, overhunting, habitat destruction, and rinderpest epidemics introduced by European livestock reduced giraffes to less than half their former range. [...]
'Giraffes are traditionally classified into one species, Giraffa camelopardalis, and several subspecies. Nine subspecies are recognized on the basis of coat pattern. For example, the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) of northeastern Africa has smooth-edged polygonal patches so closely spaced that the animal appears to be wearing a white net over a base colour of deep chestnut brown. Individual patterns, however, are unique. [...]
'The only close relative of the giraffe is the rainforest-dwelling okapi, which is the only other member of family Giraffidae. G. camelopardalis or something very similar lived in Tanzania 2 million years ago, but Giraffidae branched off from other members of the order Artiodactyla—cattle, antelope, and deer—about 34 million years ago.'
(Quotes of specific separate paragraphs from "giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) ." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2012.)
RTE | 'Young giraffe put down and fed to lions at Danish zoo to stop in-breeding' by RTE at Sunday 09 February 2014 11.39
ITV | 'UK zoo 'tries to save' giraffe facing death in Copenhagen' by ITV at 09 February 2014
Copenhagen Zoo executes, dissects young Giraffe 'Marius', feeds his meat to lions, to prevent him breeding. https://t.co/VXmjtasPnY— Marc Evan Aupiais (@SACNSNew) February 9, 2014