Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A good opinion piece on the real reason for Marius the Giraffe's death: profitablilty

Opinion: Killing of Marius the Giraffe Exposes Myths About Zoos: For the Copenhagen Zoo, it seems Marius was worth more dead than alive
All of which raises some questions: Why is the zoo breeding reticulated giraffes, when they are not endangered in the wild? And why did they let Marius's parents mate?

For answers, you need look no further than the Copenhagen Zoo's Facebook page, where it celebrates the birth of a baby giraffe (possibly Marius) in 2012. Humans, science has shown, are drawn to babies of all kinds; we love the big eyes, the floppy limbs, the fluff and fuzz of infants. Baby leopards, baby pandas, baby elephants ... baby giraffes. They all draw huge, paying crowds to zoos.

And while the Copenhagen Zoo, and other European Union zoos, may celebrate themselves as conservation sanctuaries protecting animals on the threshold of extinction, a 2011 report from the Born Free Foundation tells a different story: "An average of only 13% of species kept in European zoos were classified as Globally Threatened" and on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.

So, if these zoos aren't really engaged in conserving species as they claim, what is their purpose?

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