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Monday, February 10, 2014

A last meal of rye bread, execution by gunshot to the head, public dissection, and a feeding of the flesh to lions...

Guardian: In the chilly dawn of Sunday morning a healthy young giraffe in a Danish zoo was given its favourite meal of rye bread by a keeper – and then shot in the head by a vet.
The death of Marius, an 18-month-old giraffe considered useless for breeding because his genes were too common, was followed by his dissection in front of a large crowd, including fascinated-looking children, prompting outrage and protests around the world.
The zoo's decision to conduct the public dissection, and the disclosure that the animal was shot rather than being killed by lethal injection so that it could be fed to the carnivores, fanned the protests and provoked some calls for the zoo to be boycotted or closed. The controversy was fed further by startling images and (caution - autoplay) video of the process, including a picture of a large chunk of meat with an unmistakably spotty hide being fed to the lions.
I have mixed feelings about this, mostly because the animal was young and healthy.  It seems to me that if you've (as, presumably, the zoo has) participated in the breeding of this animal, you have an obligation to care for it, whether or not you want to breed it further.  Don't want to feed it birth control?  Then sterilize it.

The method of execution so that it could be fed to the lions sounds like sound management to me.  If you're going to feed something to the lions, why get worked up over this one food source?  Some animal was going to die for the lions' next meal - why waste this source and kill a different animal?

The public dissection sounds extremely educational.

At any rate, discuss amongst yourselves.

More, including links to additional stories, at the Guardian, via Althouse.

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